Bok discard still adds value to Lions

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 15:55

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Francois de Klerk may be surplus to requirements in the Springbok set-up, but he remains a valuable asset to the Lions.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann, speaking to rugby365 ahead of their Round Six encounter with the Sharks in Johannesburg this coming Saturday, said he still rates De Klerk.

The axing of the 25-year-old, who started in nine of South Africa's Tests last year and played off the bench in two others, has been one of the main talking points after Bok coach Allister Coetzee named 40-odd players for a training camp in Stellenbosch next week.

Ackermann admitted that there is no player who doesn't have something to work on.

"Francois [De Klerk] will be the first to say there are some work-ons," the Lions mentor said.

"I have not spoken to Allister [Coetzee] or any of the other Springbok coaches to find out the reasons for his axing.

"However, in our system, we have three very good scrumhalves and some very good juniors - with Ross [Cronje], Dillon [Smit] and Francois [De Klerk].

"They push each other all the time."

He said De Klerk still does what is expected of him in the Lions team.

"At times I will utilise him in a different role or maybe rotate him with Ross."

Ackermann said they have no plans to discard De Klerk and will continue treating him the same way as they have done before.

"He has a specific role he plays in the team and for us, he is very valuable in terms of what he brings [to the game]," the coach told rugby365.

"We are very happy with him as player and person.

"As I have said, there are always aspects of any player's game we can work on and we will continue to work with him."

Ackermann also dismissed the notion that De Klerk's passing game is an issue.

"He is a player that gets a lot of freedom," he said, adding: "Sometimes he should have passed when he ran, or ran when he passed.

"He may well have been in two minds and then it influenced his pass. It is about the decision-making.

"Sometimes his passing isn't that great, but that could happen to any player.

"There is no doubt he will always be able to work on his passing, just like he can always work on his box-kicking. Then he can also work on his decision-making.

"We have a number of players who have aspects of their game to fix.

"He [De Klerk] brings something to our team that suits us and what we are happy about.

"We just have to keep on working with him and give him that confidence."

By Jan de Koning
@king365ed
@rugby365com

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Fri, 28 April 2017
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Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
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Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10