England in SA
Eben could top Bakkies - Meyer
Cape Town - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has predicted that Eben Etzebeth will become a better lock than his predecessor, Bakkies Botha.
Meyer on Wednesday picked three new caps to take on England in Durban on Saturday, with locks Etzebeth and Juandré Kruger both set for their first Test, with flanker Marcell Coetzee the third uncapped player.
Meyer said he simply had no choice to pick the young Etzebeth, as he felt the 20-year-old Stormers player was the country's best performing lock in the Super Rugby tournament this year.
"I took the decision based on form. Eben brings us something different and competes well in the lineouts. I wouldn't say he's the next Bakkies. I think he's going to surpass that standard," Meyer told Die Burger
"Eben could become a world class lock. He's physical, big and doesn't shy away from contact. I think he was the best lock in Super Rugby thus far and it's only fair that I pick him."
The first Test in Durban kicks off at 17:00 on Saturday, followed by Tests in Johannesburg (16 June) and Port Elizabeth (23 June).
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Keegan Daniel, 20 Ruan Pienaar, 21 Pat Lambie, 22 Wynand OlivierEngland:
15 Mike Brown, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Ben Foden, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Joe Marler
Substitutes: 16 Lee Mears, 17 Paul Doran Jones, 18 Tom Palmer, 19 Phil Dowson, 20 Lee Dickson, 21 Toby Flood, 22 Jonathan JosephNew Springbok lock pairing Juandré Kruger and Eben Etzebeth (Gallo Images)