No big calls for 'humble' Boks
No big calls for 'humble' BoksSHARE
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is not willing to experiment too much in the upcoming Tests against Italy and Scotland.
Meyer named nine uncapped players in his squad for the incoming tour this month, but any thoughts that we would see a host of new faces in the Green and Gold were dismissed as he pointed out that they cannot afford to underestimate their opponents.
"It is a fine line between winning, because you don't want to underestimate your competition, and I think we need to be humble and keep our feet on the ground.
"Italy I really believe will be a tough first game. They have got a great pack of forwards and a great captain in Parisse so I think it is going to be a great series.
"They are coming off the Six Nations and we would have been together for two days," he said.
While there will be a few new faces who are given an opportunity, Meyer is not likely to tamper too much with his starting line-up.
"There are a few players who have played well and deserve a start, but you don't want to understimate your opposition and pick a different side every week. Then you get to the Rugby Championship and you are not well prepared.
"You probably go with an experienced side to start off but I want to look at one or two of the youngsters off the bench," he said.
The Bok coach said that he is not willing to sacrifice valuable momentum ahead of the Rugby Championship by tinkering too much with combinations, although there will be some deserving young players who will get a chance to show what they can do at the highest level.
"I always believe that with the Boks you don't take chances, you want to go out there and make your country proud.
"Because you don't have time you have to pick more or less your best team going forward. If you look at the age of this squad it is a very young squad and you want to give guys Test matches so that they can be up to 30 or 40 Test matches by the World Cup.
"That is a catch-22 but I can tell you that there will be a few new caps who actually deserve to be there and we will have a look at them," he said.
Meyer said that the scrums and breakdowns will be a special focus for him in the next few weeks, whilst he is also eager to see an improvement in the goal-kicking statistics after something of a nightmare last year.
"Test match rugby is all about using your opportunities. The biggest thing for me is that we need a step- up in the scrums.
"I think we need a huge step up in the breakdown and I have spoken to the franchises about getting quicker ball," he said.
By Michael de Vries