Dweba joins Boks on standby as Stick beams at hooker's rapid improvement

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  • South Africa A coach Mzwandile Stick said he was impressed by Joseph Dweba's outing against Munster last week.
  • Dweba, who is a capped Springbok, has been named as a standby for the squad that's in Italy because of a knock sustained by Malcolm Marx.
  • Dweba started two Tests for the Springboks this year.

In Genoa

South Africa A coach Mzwandile Stick said he was impressed by the manner in which Stormers hooker Joseph Dweba handled the blustery conditions against Munster in Cork last week.

Dweba, who has been capped by the Springboks, has been named as a standby for the Springbok squad in Italy as Stick named young Stormers duo Andre-Hugo Venter and JJ Kotze as the respective hookers for their game against Bristol on Thursday.

Dweba, whose appearances for the Boks this season was patchy and saw him fall below Deon Fourie in the hooker pecking order, also battled initially with the Stormers in the United Rugby Championship.

READ | Late TMO drama a mystery as defeated Springboks left confused

Dweba started the Rugby Championship Tests against New Zealand at Ellis Park and the first Australia Test in Adelaide, but hasn't featured for the Boks since.

Stick said Malcolm Marx, who came on as an effective second-half substitute against France, had a knock that necessitated Dweba's elevation to be on standby.

Marx had initially come on in the first half for Bongi Mbonambi for a head injury assessment, but came on again in the second half and finished the game strongly.

"I was very happy with how Joseph played last week, especially with the kind of pressure he has been under because of his lineout work," Stick said.

"As a hooker, your primary job is accurate lineout throwing and he's also a physical player who makes his presence felt when he carries the ball.

"We were very happy with how he played, especially in those blustery conditions and the rain also wasn't great.

READ | Is Rassie Erasmus again poking a World Rugby refereeing bear that landed him in hot water?

"I was very happy with how he managed our set piece and whatever he's done to sharpen up his basics, that's been very good for him.

"He generally gives good front-foot ball, he was accurate in the lineout and I'm very happy with how he played."

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber will announce his match-day 23 for the Test against Italy on Tuesday.

Saturday's match in Genoa kicks off at 15:00 (SA time).

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