De Villiers' youthful companions
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 13:27
He ticks all the boxes of a world-class flyhalf
The selection of Handre Pollard on his inside and Damian de Allende on his outside is providing the veteran Springbok captain with a reason to get excited.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer's team for this Saturday's Rugby Championship match against Argentina is the epitome of 'youth and experience'.
With the likes of Pollard, De Allende and Loodwyk de Jager making up two caps between them along side the likes of Bakkies Botha, Bryan Habana and Jean de Villiers, totaling 272 caps, it could easily be called a well balanced team.
For De Villiers, it is the youth that sandwiches him in the midfield that really excites him.
"Handre has been selected there because the coach feels he is good enough to play at this level.
"He showed it in Port Elizabeth against Scotland," De Villiers said.
"What I've seen of him, he ticks all the boxes of a world-class flyhalf and I am very excited to play alongside him.
"It will be my first time playing with him and my first time with Damian [De Allende], at international level, playing on my outside."
"In the forwards, the captain is happy that De Jager is playing along side one of the legends of the game in Botha.
"We've got a guy like Bakkies back who will give a lot of experience to a guy like Lood in an unfamiliar position."
De Jager has been named at No.5, traditionally the line-out caller and option for the team, where as the Cheetahs' man is traditionally more of a No.4 lock - in the mould of Botha.
"He's done fantastically well at five lock and taking care of the line-out.
"It will be a nice challenge in that regard but the strength of our team is the actual team and not just the individuals."
The line-outs, traditionally a strong point for the South Africans, may be in the hands of the inexperienced De Jager, but De Villiers is looking to all of his players to get the set pieces right.
"We will be hoping to have dominance at first phase and we will be looking to get our set pieces right, to get our scrums, line-outs and kick-offs right," De Villiers went on.
"If we can get that nice platform, hopefully we can get enough ball to attack from."
Much of the focus this week had been the breakdowns, knowing the Boks would face the dangerous loose forward duo of Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and Manuel Leguizamon.
"They have a good loose trio, quality players, and guys like Leguizamon and Lobbe that have been around quite a while," De Villiers said.
"They've shown at club and international level what they are capable of and we are looking forward to the battle of the breakdown.
We've got a good combination as well."
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