Coetzee to keep a close eye on BaaBaas' Saffas

Sun, 30 Oct 2016 15:05
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Springbok head coach Allister Coetzee will keep a close eye on some of the Barbarians' South African players during their Wembley clash next weekend.

The match will be the Springboks' first of their end-of-year tour, which also features matches against England, Italy and Wales. 

Coetzee will give several uncapped players an opportunity to impress against the Baabaas, but he will also have the added bonus of watching some of South Africa's other young talent in the famous black and white striped jerseys.  

"I think Robbie Deans [Barbarians head coach] assembled a squad with a lot of experience and also exciting young players." said Coetzee. 

"If you look at the composition of that squad then you will see there are a couple of South African players such as Robert du Preez [Western Province], Kwagga [Albertus] Smith, Ruan Ackermann [Golden Lions] and Clayton Blommetjies [Free State Cheetahs] - young players that I will be really keen to have a look at as well.

"They also added experienced players such as Andy Ellis and Luke Whitelock, who have all played Test match rugby."

According to Coetzee, the Barbarians' style of play will be a challenge for his youthful side. 

“Traditionally, the Barbarians play an attacking, expansive type of game, which will be a test for us. But, we have to follow our processes and make sure we lay a good foundation and get off to a good start for our tour. 

"I am excited to see the young players perform. We got one week of preparation left. The first week has gone really well. We got one more week at Lensbury [team base] and we will take it from there," Coetzee added.

Other South Africans that are in the Barbarians squad for the match against the Springboks are Lions hooker Armand van der Merwe and Montpellier's former Lions prop Schalk van der Merwe.

Barbarians squad: Ruan Ackermann (Lions), Clayton Blommetjies (Cheetahs), Sam Carter (Brumbies and Australia), Robert du Preez (Stormers), Andy Ellis (Crusaders/Kobelco and New Zealand), Matt Faddes (Highlanders), Michael Fatialofa (Hurricanes), Reggie Goodes (Hurricanes), Richard Mo'unga (Crusaders), Luke Morahan (Force and Australia), Martin Muller (Lions), Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs/Panasonic and Australia), Melani Nanai (Blues), Ruan Pienaar (Ulster and South Africa), Andrew Ready (Reds), Paddy Ryan (Waratahs and Australia), Brad Shields (Hurricanes), Toby Smith (Rebels and Australia), Albertus Smith (Lions), Nic Stirzaker (Rebels), Seta Tamanivalu (Crusaders and New Zealand), Jordan Taufua (Crusaders), Dan Tuohy (Ulster and Ireland), Armand van der Merwe (Lions), Schalk van der Merwe (Montpellier), Luke Whitelock (Highlanders and New Zealand).