England in SA
Matfield backs Kruger at No 5
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.