Vos: Boks are favourites

Former Springbok captain has tipped New Zealand and South Africa as the sides best-equipped to triumph in France, despite criticism of their most recent displays.

Vos has come out in defence of Jake White’s team following a scratchy display against Scotland in Port Elizabeth and despite the monumental loss of flank Schalk Burger.

The Springboks were occasionally booed on Saturday as they laboured to beat the Scots, committing a glut of handling errors and failing to provide their backline with decent ball, reports AFP.

Vos though insists that those the errors will fall away as the season progresses. “Once the really big games start, like the Tri-Nations, you’ll see a very different, more polished Bok side,” predicted Vos.

“It’s encouraging and exciting to see what Jake is doing with the team,” he said. “For so long most of the South African rugby public have simply asked for consistency and Jake has responded to that by building a settled unit. Most importantly he’s getting the mix right between youth and experience.”

“Usually South Africa enters a major tournament with lot of new guys playing only their second or third Test. But now there is a core of hardened players such as Victor (Matfield) and Percy (Montgomery) – whose input is huge – alongside some exciting youngsters such as Bryan Habana.”

Vos said that considering Scotland had beaten both England and France in the Six Nations, it was a decent Test series win for the Springboks.

As for the All Blacks, Vos warned: “Ireland is a quality side and nobody should have been shocked that they performed so well in New Zealand,” said Vos. Considering coach Graham Henry had split his two squads it was a remarkable performance.