Trevor must 'learn his lesson'

Mon, 19 Aug 2013 22:03
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Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said rookie Trevor Nyakane must learn his lesson and come back a better player.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said rookie Trevor Nyakane must learn his lesson and come back a better player.

Nyakane was dropped from the South African squad, ahead of the trip to Mendoza and the return match against Argentina, for "repeated breaches of team protocol".

The 24-year-old - who came on as a replacement in all three the June Tests against Italy (his debut), Scotland and Samoa - has returned to Bloemfontein where he will play in the Currie Cup competition for the Free State Cheetahs.

He was replaced by uncapped Griquas front row forward Lourens Adriaanse, one of four new faces in the touring party from the Springbok matchday squad that thumped Argentina 73-13 in their Rugby Championship opener at Soccer City last Saturday.

The Boks' initial dispatch simply said Nyakane was dropped from the national squad for "repeated breaches of team protocol".

However, they later qualified it in the team's official twitter feed: "No great scandal, folks. 'Breach of protocol' in Trevor's case means missing flights, video session and trip to ORT this [Sunday] morning."

It was the trip to the airport, ahead of the team's departure for Argentina, that tipped the scales.

Some media reports suggested he missed a flight to a Springbok training camp the previous week and missed a video session without permission.

It is believed his conditioning was also not up to the expected standards.

Meyer, addressing the media after the team's arrival in Buenos Aires - where they will be based till Friday, ahead of Saturday's Test in Mendoza - said there was no ill feelings toward the discarded Bok prop.

"I just want to make it clear, I am not cross with Trevor," Meyer told the media scrum at the team's training base.

"I just believe it is a learning curve for him and it is the best for him now," he said, adding that they initially wanted to keep it away from the media.

"However, it is also right for Trevor to face up [to it] now, because that is the only way he is going to learn.

"He let a lot of people down, so there is no hard feeling, he must just learn from this.

"I know he will be back, but it is going to take time."

The Bok coach revealed that veteran prop Jannie du Plessis is struggling with a slight calf injury. However, they are confident he will be nursed back to full health and should be able to take to the field against the Pumas.

"Lourens [Adriaanse] is with the team," the coach said, adding: "I have been concerned about [the] tighthead [prop position].

"However, I think Coenie [Oosthuizen] came through well," he said of the Cheetahs prop who came on for Du Plessis in the 55th minute in Soweto.

"We had eight out of eight scrums and [scrum coach] Pieter de Villiers must get credit for that, because we haven't played under those rules [new scrum engagement sequence] before.

"I thought Coenie did well on the tighthead.

""They [Argentina] are a very experienced pack and they got one out of five scrums, so I was very happy with the discipline there. Our discipline in the scrums were brilliant, we didn't go down in the scrums and we did concede any penalties.

"I am happy with Lourens Adriaanse, he knows where he stands, he has been with the team before and he was elated to join us."

Asked what the contingency plan was, should Du Plessis be ruled out, Meyer said he remains optimistic the 30-year-old 46-Test veteran will be cleared.

"We have a very good doctor, he has raised [captain] Jean [de Villiers] from the dead a couple of times before," the coach quipped.

On a more serious note, he said one of the reasons they took Du Plessis off so early during the game in Soweto is to not aggravate the injury.

"He started cramping round the 50-minute mark," he said of the decision to replace him five minutes later, adding: "We didn't want to take chances and that is why we put Coenie [Oosthuizen] on.

"We are very positive that he will be able to play."

Du Plessis first picked up a calf strain in the Sharks' last match of the Super Rugby season, against the Kings in mid-July, and the Boks' team doctor have been easing him back to full fitness from there.