Meyer taking no chances

Heyneke Meyer
Heyneke Meyer

Cape Town - The thought of a Damian de Allende or a Schalk Burger picking up an injury against the USA on Wednesday is nothing short of terrifying for the Springboks ahead of the Rugby World Cup knockouts. 

The Boks are top of Pool B going into their last group stage fixture of the tournament, and a bonus-point win at the Olympic Stadium will ensure that they stay there and play the runners-up of Pool A.

For that reason, Bok coach Heyneke Meyer may have been tempted to rest a number of his big name players in a match where - the Japan drama aside - his charges are expected to canter through to a win. 

But he is taking nothing for granted, and has instead made just two changes to his starting line-up from Saturday's 34-16 win over Scotland. 

Meyer said that he wanted consistency, especially in his "8,9,10,12,13" combination, and that the more these players played together they more they would improve ... particularly on defence.

He was also not leaving anything to chance in terms of how he rated his opposition.

"You have to stay humble and respect every single opponent and they’ve shown that they are also a world class team being here," said Meyer.

"They’re very difficult to play against, they’re very physical … a lot of big and strong forwards and great runners in the field.

"We want to have some kind of continuity. A lot of the guys coming into the World Cup haven’t played a lot of rugby. A lot of the combinations haven’t played together for quite some time and we just thought that there is a 10 day turnaround and then it’s knockout phase, but we don’t want to look past this game."

Meyer added that the Fourie du Preez/Handre Pollard combination was also one that would benefit from more time playing together. 

"I think it is just Handre’s third game with Fourie," he said.


South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez (captain), 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger (vice-captain), 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Jan Serfontein.


15 Blaine Scully, 14 Brett Thompson, 13 Folau Niua, 12 Andrew Suniula, 11 Zach Test, 10 Shalom Suniula, 9 Niku Kruger, 8 Samu Manoa (captain), 7 John Quill, 6 Danny Barrett, 5 Matthew Trouville, 4 Louis Stanfill, 3 Chris Baumann, 2 Phil Thiel, 1 Oli Kilifi

Substitutes: 16 Joe Taufetee, 17 Zach Fenoglio, 18 Mate Moeakiola, 19 Titi Lamositele, 20 Cam Dolan, 21 Al McFarland, 22 Mike Petri, 23 Chris Wyles

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