Concern about a possible ankle injury to stalwart Fourie du Preez
The impressive performance of a number of young stars against Scotland has given Heyneke Meyer some serious selection headaches.
The Springboks were dominant against a weakened Scotland side in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, running in eight unanswered tries to finish convincing 55-6 victors.
Five players made their debut in the comprehensive rout, and Meyer admitted that they have given him some serious food for thought ahead of the Rugby Championship.
With a full squad currently on the injured list, the Bok mentor will have to make some big calls before he announces his final squad for the southern hemisphere competition.
"We have close to 30 guys out so will be difficult to pick a squad once all of them are fit again," he said.
Meyer was full of praise for the performances from a number of younger players, including debutant Handrè Pollard and try-scoring lock, Lodewyk de Jager, who started in his first match.
“With all the locks out injured, it was great to see Lood came through. Handrè is already a matured player and he combined well with Jan Serfontein today. They are pressuring the first choice players and a lot of the new guys will be contenders for the Rugby Championship, where I can only pick a squad of 30,” he explained.
Meyer was obviously satisfied with the attacking intent his team showed, but was particularly pleased with their defensive resolve to keep Scotland from crossing the tryline.
“I am very proud of the guys. The message was that we had to come back and make the country and team proud after the close call last week and we did that,” Meyer said.
“One thing that stands out for me was us not conceding tries. We kept the Scots out for those last minutes when other teams would have leaked a try. Our defence was awesome, but we also played very well on attack.”
Meyer gave a lot of credit to New Zealand referee, Glen Jackson.
“He managed the breakdown well and we were able to get quick ball and played a lot of rugby on our front foot. Scotland did manage to mess up our rhythm in the second part of the half, but we came out well again in the second half and scored some nice tries. It is awesome to put 50 points behind any team at this level.”
Meyer thanked the home crowd, who turned up in huge numbers.
“We heard that almost all the tickets were sold and wanted to give the crowd something special here today. We wanted to thank them by delivering a good performance.”
Meyer expressed concern about a possible ankle injury to stalwart Fourie du Preez.
“We hope the injury will not prevent him from playing in the Rugby Championship. He will undergo a scan as soon as possible to determine the extent of his injury. His control of the game is important to us for the Rugby Championship,” he said.