England in SA
Boks looking for continuity
Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is unlikely to tinker too much with his team ahead of the crucial second Test match against England Johannesburg on Saturday.
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His hand could, however, be slightly forced after Gio Aplon and Dean Greyling were called up to camp following injury concerns around Zane Kirchner and Coenie Oosthuizen.
Kirchner has been ruled out for Saturday’s match, while a decision on Oosthuizen’s availability will be made on Tuesday.
The absence of Kirchner at fullback has subsequently opened the door for Patrick Lambie, who replaced him late in the first half.
"In this team your place is not guaranteed. I think we will again look at England’s strong points and weaknesses," Meyer said on Monday.
"I think Patrick did well when he came on at fullback and chances are good that he will start from that position. We want to keep continuity and we want to get to the point where you establish some momentum and rhythm."
Meyer said he was pleased to have Aplon with 16 Test caps, and Greyling with two, in the squad as they were familiar with being in the international set up.
He said the duo had proven themselves during the pre-season planning camps and were unlucky not to receive call-ups for the initial Test squad.
"Gio and Dean were two guys who were unlucky not to make the squad, and especially since they have played for SA before," said Meyer.
"As I have said before, I am not a believer in giving chances, people have to take their chances, and I don’t want to make playing for SA cheap.
"But they impressed me at the training camps earlier this year and they were on standby to play for the team, so I am happy for them."
He said while these two new call-ups needed to take advantage of the opportunity, he empathised with players losing their spots because of injuries.
"It is obviously sad to lose players due to injuries, but it is up to them to make the step-up and show they want to stay in the team," Meyer said.
"They are both quality players and I will look at them in the match 22 as well."
Players such as inside centre Frans Steyn and tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis did not train on Monday, but team doctor Craig Robberts said it was only a precautionary measure.
"We’ve got quite a few bumps and bruises after the Test, which are expected. We had a couple of guys sitting out today with just bumps and bruises for training, but that is generally normal on a Monday in order to get the guys ready for Saturday."