Rugby

Italy: Mallett to shave head

2010-06-20 13:10
Italy coach Nick Mallett will sport a new hairstyle come the weekend. (Gallo)

Johannesburg - One of the expected changes in East London when South Africa and Italy clash in the second Test match will be the bald pate of Italy coach Nick Mallett, and there might also be a new Springbok captain.

After the 29-13 win by the Springboks against Italy in Witbank on Saturday, the former Springbok No 8 and South African national coach said he would stick to his promise to shave off his hair if Italy lost by less than 20 points.

Saturday’s 16 points difference beat the 19 (score 40-21) in 1995 and last year’s 22 (score 32-10).

There will also be a number of changes in the Springbok side as Bok coach Peter de Villiers has made it clear: he will stick to his plans in the build-up to the Tri-Nations and next years’ World Cup despite the poor showing of his team in Witbank on Saturday.

This will almost certainly mean that Saturday’s Bok captain Victor Matfield will be rested and this could mean a new Springbok captain being blooded.

With regular Springbok captain John Smit in a race against time to recover from the hamstring injury that kept him out of the Witbank Test, South Africa will get its 54th Test captain if Smit’s hamstring keeps playing up - and it will probably be one of Schalk Burger, Jean de Villiers or Chiliboy Ralepelle, who is being groomed for the job.

Bulls captain Matfield will welcome a rest. He missed only one match during the tough Super 14 campaign and was due to be rested for the first Test this season against Wales. An injury to Andries Bekker, however, put paid to that.

A rest next weekend will effectively mean three weeks off the pitch for Matfield -- and Morne Steyn is likely to have a similar break period with Butch James or Ruan Pienaar at flyhalf on Saturday.

Gurthro Steenkamp has also not had much rest since February and together with Pierre Spies and Bryan Habana could also be rested.

Hopefully all these changes will see Pienaar get an extended run at scrumhalf where he prefers playing and where he was very good when the Sharks used him there.

De Villiers was particularly disappointed about what he calls Saturday’s "stupid mistakes" at national level.

"We let the supporters down because we didn't do what we are supposed to do. "We made a lot of individual mistakes and that prevented us building momentum," said De Villiers.

Matfield, like his coach, was also not happy with the Boks’ performance on Saturday.

"We didn't play very well," said Matfield. "We made too many basic errors.

"Our scrums were good, our lineouts were good but our individual skill levels let us down.

"There was bad delivery from the lineout, the ball was lost at the back of the scrum and there were too many handling errors."

Read more on:    boks
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
19 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

After 4 rounds of this year's Absa Currie Cup, who's your favourite for the title?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.