Ackermann praises South African talent
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: South Africa 'A' coach Johan Ackermann believes that the Springboks have enough depth and talent in their ranks to select a team which will challenge for the 2019 World Cup in Japan. Josh Isaacson reports.
Ackermann announced his team to take on the French Barbarians at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Friday night and speaking to reporters after the team announcement- which included 13 changes to the starting team - Ackermann commented that the future of South African Rugby is looking very bright, identifying the likes of Cheetahs prop Retshegofaditswe Nche and speedster Seabelo Senatla as adding immense firepower to the future Springbok set-up.
"There's no doubt in my mind, working with the players that you always coach against and always watch matches, it's amazing how much talent we've got, think about Ox [Retshegofaditswe Nche] now that I've seen him a bit closer, think about Seabelo [Senatla], Lwazi [Mvovo] the try's that he scored last week running through guys and then there's Andy [Andisa Ntsila] and Lionel Cronje and the list goes on," Ackermann said.
Ackermann added that Springbok coach Allister Coetzee should introduce new talent slowly into the national team in order for them to understand the team structure and dynamics.
"There are a lot of guys that with time, nurturing, getting into the structure and getting developed. You sometimes look at the New Zealand sides, they take a youngster and they develop him and play him off the bench, there's enough talent for us in the two teams to really build a quality team for the next World Cup," he added.
Ackermann further added that there are many quality players in South Africa that the likes of experienced Springbok lock Lodewyk de Jager and Bulls prop Lizo Gqoboka have not been given any game time during the Springboks last two Test matches against France.
"Allister [Coetzee] hasn't even used Lood de Jager in the last two tests, we haven't used Lizo Gqoboka, so there's still a lot of talent between the two squads that can be there when needed, so I think by patience and backing the squads, there's enough depth," he stated.
By Josh Isaacson, in Johannesburg