Cape Town - Springbok assistant coach Johan van Graan believes that there
is very little separating the forwards packs of the world’s top sides at the
The Boks are in Durban preparing for Saturday’s Rugby
Championship clash against Argentina at King’s Park.
The match may be the basement battle of this year’s Championship
but it is also one of only two fixtures that the Boks have left before they
name their 2015 Rugby World Cup squad.
Argentina have long been known for their ability in the
pack, and while Van Graan is expecting more of the same on Saturday he believes
that there are numerous teams going into the World Cup with strong packs.
“I think all the top eight teams in the world are pretty
close together. Everybody is scoring with five metre out opportunities; a lot
of teams are scrummaging well,” he said.
“Because of all of the players in the world playing in
countries such as France, England, Ireland, Wales … I think there is a lot of
knowledge being shared.
“The forward challenge is a big one this weekend and one
that we respect and can’t wait to go for.”
Van Graan confirmed that the Boks would probably be
deploying some new combinations against the Pumas this weekend, but he denied
that there was nothing left to play for due to the fact that both sides are out
of the running for the Rugby Championship title.
“It’s about composure and it’s about consistency. We want to
play good, winning, attacking, aggressive decision making rugby every weekend,”
“There is no such thing as the Rugby Championship being gone
“We’re going to respect our opponents. We’re playing against quality opposition. We’ll start at
zero again this week and it’s all about building towards the World Cup.”
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.