Meyer: Go easy on Goosen

2012-09-26 22:20
Johan Goosen and Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has warned Bok fans not to have unreasonably high expectations of new flyhalf Johan Goosen.

VIDEO: Heyneke Meyer's sings Morné Steyn's praises... in the shower!


Goosen was on Wednesday given his first Test start by South Africa for Saturday's Rugby Championship Test against Australia at Loftus Versfeld after Morné Steyn was dropped for a much-criticised dip in form.

The young Free Stater has been earmarked as the long-term No 10, combining a powerful kicking boot with the ability to also attack defences with ball in hand, something that has been missing with Steyn.

But Meyer cautioned that fans should not expect miracles from the youngster.

"Obviously you have to be realistic. You can't expect a 20-year-old guy to come in and win the game and score five tries," Meyer said of the young Goosen, warning against expectations that he will single-handedly turn around the Boks' fortunes.

"Obviously I'd love that but it's also a process for Johan. He has been involved from the outset and we had chats when he was injured.

"But it is great as a coach to have depth at flyhalf, even though there is a long way to go before the next World Cup."

Meyer said it was "a big call" to leave out Steyn, who had been South Africa's first-choice flyhalf since winning the 2009 series against the British and Irish Lions with a last-minute penalty - also at Loftus - and who had played 30 consecutive Tests.

He is South Africa's most capped flyhalf and second highest point-scorer behind Percy Montgomery, racking up 486 points in 41 games.

"Obviously I always said I'd do what's best for the team. The team comes first," Meyer said.

"Morné's a big champion, he took it graciously. He's put his body on the line for his country for the last three to four years, won a lot of games that we could have lost. I just feel that it's in his best interests and the team that he doesn't play."

Meyer made three changes in all to his starting team following the 21-11 loss in New Zealand two weeks ago, recalling locks Eben Etzebeth and Andries Bekker in place of Flip van der Merwe and Juandré Kruger.

Lions centre Jaco Taute is also in line for a first Test cap at Loftus Versfeld if Francois Steyn doesn’t recover from a right ankle injury by Friday, Meyer said. Prop Coenie Oosthuizen and flyhalf Elton Jantjies also come in on the bench.

The clash against the Wallabies kicks off at 17:00 on Saturday.

Teams:

South Africa:

15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Francois Steyn/Jaco Taute, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Beast Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Elton Jantjies, 21 Jaco Taute/Juan de Jongh, 22 Patrick Lambie

Australia:

TBA

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
110 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Most Read
Commented

Logs

Rank Team P W Pts

Results

05 October 2014
04 October 2014
27 September 2014
13 September 2014
06 September 2014
23 August 2014
16 August 2014
28 June 2014
21 June 2014
14 June 2014
07 June 2014
23 November 2013
17 November 2013
09 November 2013
05 October 2013
28 September 2013
14 September 2013
07 September 2013
24 August 2013
17 August 2013
22 June 2013
15 June 2013
08 June 2013

Opinion Poll

Western Province and the Golden Lions will do battle at Newlands on Saturday, October 25 for the 2014 Absa Currie Cup title. Who will lift the trophy after 80 minutes?

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