Heyneke Meyer says his plan to field an experienced Springboks squad has been compromised by injuries to key players.
Meyer had repeatedly intimated that he would retain many of the senior Springboks who had served over the last eight years for the three-Test series against England in June. However, speaking at the conclusion of the second of three Springboks planning camps with selected players from the Bulls and Sharks in attendance, Meyer said injuries had changed his plans.
‘I must say when I started the team that I thought probably would start, and I’ve said I would give everyone a fair chance has changed a lot,’ Meyer said.
‘Like I said, I thought it would be an experienced side just to get us going and get the continuity because the guys know a lot of the stuff and lead the youngsters. But it’s changed a lot and I think we’ll go for a younger team than I expected to go with.’
Several Stormers players who keo.co.za understands were in Meyer’s plans are doubtful for the England series, while others from other franchises are only just returning from lay-offs.
Besides injuries, Meyer’s intentions have also been curtailed by by experienced midfielder Jaque Fourie’s announcement that he would be unavailable for selection as well as Fourie du Preez and Danie Rossouw’s uncertainty about their desire to continue their Test career.
Meyer added that his choice of captain would also be affected by the aforementioned factors.
‘Obviously I am looking at the captains of the five franchises and a few senior guys, but there are a injuries,’ he said. ‘I am actually quite happy that I didn’t announce the captain because I probably would have been in trouble. I think it is probably the right thing to wait until the first test match.’
Meyer added that that appointment would most likely be a short-term one for the duration of the series only.