Coetzee to retain some youngsters?

Sun, 06 Nov 2016 09:04
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REACTION: An injury-hit Springbok camp could open the door for some young players, who played against the Barbarians, to remain with the squad for the remainder of the November Test matches.

Jesse Kriel was the only casualty from the Barbarians match, suffering "niggles" to his ankle and knee while JP Pietersen and Willie le Roux will be assessed by the medical staff when they join the Springbok squad on Sunday.

This could open the door for players like Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Jamba Ulengo.

"I can retain a few players if I request it. There are a couple of niggles in the squad and a decision will be made [on Sunday] on whether they should participate further or come back at a later stage. I am in a position to still do that.

"I know they [the younger players] have the ability and quality and they showed it out there [against the Barbarians].

"Jesse Kriel is the only obvious player with a niggle. JP Pietersen and Willie le Roux are also carrying niggles and will be assessed when they join the squad.

"The centres [Francois Venter and Janse van Rensburg] played really well as a combination and Jamba Ulengo also impressed with ball in hand. He [Ulengo] could be one of the guys staying behind as well," Coetzee said.

Despite facing this challenge, Coetzee believes the Springboks' biggest challenge will be getting the squad to gel.

"What will be a challenge is to get the team to gel within a week. It's just to build the team and get the cohesion going.

"I'm positive about the experience we are getting back in terms of the likes of Warren Whiteley, although Nizaam Carr played really well with ball in hand.

"Against England, who are a very experienced side, that [to get experience] is what we will be looking for as well. It's about getting the selections right. We have a different mindset about the way we want to play, so it's really a balancing act to get right.

"Every Test match is going to be a tough battle and if you look at history, there is no easy match in Europe at the end of our season. So, we are expecting a very tough, physical battle and a much stronger set-piece battle.

"To say that we are worried or nervous, we are not at all," he added.