Corné Krige believes Heinrich Brüssow should be the Boks’ first-choice No 6 in every Test.
The former openside specialist believes Brüssow and Schalk Burger – Pieter de Villiers’s ideal openside flank – shouldn’t be competing for the same postion, but would be better off playing together. Brüssow will start in place of Burger against the All Blacks on Saturday while the latter serves his eight-week ban for making reckless contact with the eyes of a Lions player.
‘Brüssow is short, stocky and fast like a classical openside flank,’ Krige told keo.co.za. ‘Schalk is a devastating player who destroys the oppostion’s defence, but he’s not an ideal No 6. I think they would be a force playing together.’
The former Springbok captain emphasises Brüssow’s selection by pointing out his natural ability to fit into the Bok team.
‘When a young player comes in, it normally takes several games for him to gel. Brüssow, who came out of the blue, fitted in from the start and impressed many against the British & Irish Lions pack. That takes something special.’
Brüssow will face All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, a battle that Krige believes will have a big influence on the match.
‘He obviously played against Richie in the Super 14, so he won’t come into the match in the dark,’ he said. ‘However, this is a Test and the game will be a lot faster, especially at a higher altitude.
‘Brüssow must just make sure he can get to the ball and breakdowns first, because we all know what a master Richie is at the rucks. He can steal and slow down the ball and the Boks will need fast ball.’
By Gareth Duncan