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Continuity is king for Meyer's Boks

Wed, 14 Aug 2013 15:29
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I just felt it was the right thing to do
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Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer believes that continuity in team selection has contributed to his team's six-match winning streak.

Meyer made two changes for South Africa's opening Rugby Championship Test against Argentina in Soweto on Saturday.

"Continuity has been key for us this year and that is why we've opted not to make too many changes to the team for Saturday's Test," Meyer said in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

"It is more or less the same team that played during the incoming tour [against Italy, Scotland and Samoa in June]," the Bok mentor added.

Meyer believed the Springboks had made major strides since last year and hoped to build on the momentum the team gained over the last nine months.

"I believe the coach should not chop and change every week," he told a media gathering.

"We won six on the trot now with this team and we want to take it forward," he added.

"By saying that, we know it is going to be a very tough game against Argentina and we have a lot of respect for them and they will be better prepared.

"The team had attained some valuable continuity through selection, while the debutantes from June added a new dimension to the team."

The effective loose trio from the 2012 year-end tour had been restored, with No.8 Duane Vermeulen replacing the injured Pierre Spies.

He will partner with flanks Willem Alberts and Francois Louw, who were involved in the Springboks' successful incoming series campaign in June.

The only other change to the starting XV sees Juandre Kruger moving back into the run-on side in the place of Flip van der Merwe, who played against Samoa in the last Test match at Loftus Versfeld.

Veteran scrumhalf Fourie du Preez will make his return in the Green and Gold, playing off the bench after more than a year's self-imposed absence.

"I just felt it was the right thing to do for the team to ease Fourie back into the team. He'll definitely get game time going forward, in this game as well," Meyer said.

"But Ruan Pienaar has been the first choice and he's done great for his country.

"It is the right thing to bring Fourie in from the bench. You have a lot of experience if you bring him on, he's been brilliant on and off the field."

In the other change on the bench, Gurthrö Steenkamp has been included in the place of Trevor Nyakane.

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