Du Preez has great hope for combo

Fourie du Preez says the synergy between himself and halfback partner Ruan Pienaar will improve over time.

The Springbok scrumhalf is widely regarded as the world’s best, but on this tour he has been asked to nurture Pienaar as he finds his feet at flyhalf. Last week’s game saw the pair dominate against Wales even though they had minimal possession.

“I think Ruan had a fine game in Cardiff,” Du Preez told keo.co.za. “He created a few gaps and his kicking into space was very good.

“Having played scrumhalf, he knows where he can help me. We’ve only played one game together, but I feel it’s a combination that’s going to get better over time.”

Individually, Du Preez will be up against Scotland captain Mike Blair on Saturday. Blair is likely to tour South Africa with the British & Irish Lions next June and so Du Preez is eager to gauge his ability.

“He’s had a great season and I know it’s going to be a tough challenge for me. Blair hasn’t been nominated as one of the players of the year for nothing.”

While Du Preez feels the synergy at halfback is important, he acknowledged the need for the Springbok collective to find their rhythm. The Boks won the 2007 World Cup but suffered a slump in this year’s Tri-Nations.

“It’s still early stages for this team under Peter but we want to be winners, we want to be No 1. All the teams are gunning for you, but we want to be up there, we want that kind of pressure.”

By Jon Cardinelli in Edinburgh