High praise for Jannie, Morné

Morné Steyn and Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)
Morné Steyn and Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Morné Steyn epitomises what is expected from a Springbok rugby player, coach Heyneke Meyer said in Cape Town on Wednesday.

"I have coached Morné for many years and I remember when he first arrived at the Blue Bulls he was an ordinary talent," Meyer said.

"He is a great example of hard work beating talent.

"He has such an unbelievable work ethic.

"He always trains 100% and then spends time afterwards taking extra kicks at the posts.

“He has epitomised what I would like to see from a player in this team."

Steyn, who plays for French outfit Stade Francais, and Jannie du Plessis will be playing their 50th Tests for South Africa against Australia at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.

Du Plessis, who plays at tighthead prop, had copped some criticism recently, mainly for his shortcomings in defence.

However, Meyer said he was aware of the criticism but felt the prop had done enough to warrant selection.

"You can’t expect a tighthead prop to always defend (reliably)," Meyer said.

"The match stats show that as a tighthead, he has the most cleans and tackles.

"I accept that he wasn’t at his best in the last match but that was partly because our playing systems were not always in place, and that is what let him down.

"The one area I am very happy with at the moment is the scrummaging, especially compared to last year, and Jannie must take a lot of credit for that.

"He does a lot of work outside of the scrums too.

"When we analyse matches he is always up there with the most tackles.

"I believe he is playing great rugby."

Adriaan Strauss was Meyer's choice to wear the number two jersey for the Newlands Test after Bismarck du Plessis was red-carded in the last match which was against the All Blacks in New Zealand.

"It was not that I wanted to keep Bismarck away from this game," Meyer said.

"I’m a simple coach and I try to keep things simple.

"Some time ago I had already told the hookers which matches they will be playing.

"I won't change that now because trust (in the coach) is big for me and I stick to my word.

"I think we have two of the best hookers in the world and I need to keep players fresh going forward."

Performance was key and Meyer said he remained loyal to good performers as opposed to the actual players.

"Both Bismarck and Adriaan are great leaders.

"It also important going forward to have all the guys doing double figures (in Test caps) so that by the time the World Cup comes around, there will be enough experience in the ranks.

"I don’t believe in giving away Test caps.

"Players must play for their places.

"In this case again, it was horses for courses."

Meanwhile, Meyer's counterpart, Wallabies coach, Ewen McKenzie is expected to make four changes to his run-on side for Saturday's clash at Newlands.

Kick-off is at 17:05.

Teams:

South Africa:

15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Juandré Kruger, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein

Possible Australia line-up:

15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper.

Substitutes: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Sitaleki Timani, 20 Ben McCalman, 21 Will Genia, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Chris Feauai-Sautia

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 8955 votes
Cricket
11% - 2315 votes
Football
19% - 4090 votes
Athletics
2% - 528 votes
Boxing
1% - 191 votes
Cycling
2% - 496 votes
Golf
5% - 1044 votes
Motorsport
9% - 1816 votes
Tennis
3% - 727 votes
Water sports
1% - 198 votes
American sports
1% - 266 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 674 votes
Vote