England in SA

Matfield backs Kruger at No 5

2012-06-01 07:37
Juandré Kruger (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Former Springbok lock Victor Matfield says the Bulls' Juandré Kruger is the ideal candidate to replace the injured Andries Bekker as the No 5 lock for the series against England.

The Springboks were dealt a big blow on Wednesday when Bekker was ruled out for five weeks with a lower back strain.

Bekker was expected to be coach Heyneke Meyer's preferred choice for the No 5 jersey but Matfield believes Kruger has emerged as a more than capable candidate.

"Andries's injury is a massive blow for the Springboks because he has a lot of experience. It's a pity he can't be considered, but we're still lucky to have a guy like Juandré available," Matfield told Volksblad.

"If one looks at the Bulls' statistics in the Super Rugby competition, Kruger is right up there - putting his name up for selection. His lineout work, especially, clearly separates him from the rest. He'll be my choice as No 5 lock."

Matfield believes Kruger's knowledge of England hooker Dylan Hartley's game could also prove handy for the Boks. "'He and Hartley played together at Northampton Saints - so he'll has knowledge of how they do things in the lineouts."

Matfield says either Eben Etzebeth or Flip vand Der Merwe would be a suitable choice as lock partner to Kruger.


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