Keo.co.za brings you news from the Springbok camp.
PdV explains back row shuffle – Peter de Villiers says that the uncertainty of Juan Smith’s availability for the World Cup has forced him to select Danie Rossouw at blindside flank for the coming Test against Australia.
De Villiers has picked Rossouw at No 7 and Ashley Johnson at No 8 for Saturday’s game, a strange selection given Rossouw has won the World Cup playing No 8 and Johnson has played all his rugby at blindside flank for the Cheetahs.
‘There is a reason for that,’ he said. ‘I know Ashley played superbly for the Cheetahs at No 7, but with uncertainty about Juan Smith’s fitness for the World Cup, I’m looking to Danie to fill in there if necessary.
‘There has been a revival in Danie’s career this year. His performance will be very important for us. I think Ashley could get us on the front foot from No 8.’
De Villiers added that he is counting on the forwards to lay the platform for the Boks’ exciting if untried backline combinations.
‘Our ability to bring that explosiveness of the outside backs into the game will depend on the kind of possession we get, our field position and how much momentum we have.’
Boks aim to surprise at scrum-time – Debutants Dean Greyling and Werner Kruger claim that the Bok scrum is firing as a unit and will test the Wallabies on Saturday.
The Boks will field an inexperienced pack, but the two Bulls props believe the scrum has what it takes to unsettle the Aussies.
‘We are going to surprise people with our scrumming,’ Greyling told Independent Newspapers. ‘As a prop, you know when you are getting it right as a unit. It helps that I know my tighthead, Werner, so well from the Bulls, and between us is one of the most experienced scrummagers of all time in John Smit.
‘We are going to attack the Wallabies in the scrum. This is not cockiness – you have to have an attacking mindset, and this doesn’t mean we underrate the Wallabies – they actually scrummed okay against Samoa. We are just feeling really good.’
Kruger said there’s no special technique he will be employing when he fronts his Aussie counterparts.
‘Scrumming is not always as technical as people make out. It is very direct and very physical. You put your head down and go forward – there’s no getting around it.’