Rugby World Cup 2011

Gerber backs Boks to win

2011-09-16 14:22
Danie Gerber (Gallo)

Wellington - Former Springbok centre Danie Gerber has thrown his weight behind the Springboks ahead of Saturday's Rugby World Cup Pool D match against Fiji in Wellington.

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Gerber, arguably one of the best centres to have donned the green-and-gold, handed over the team's match jerseys on Friday.

After chatting with some of the players, he was confident the Boks would go all the way in the tournament.

"I have no doubt that the Springboks can win on Saturday and will defend their title," said Gerber.

"We had the most difficult first round game of all the teams as Wales could not have played better than they did, although we know that there is room for improvement."

For the former centre, who was as strong as most loose-forwards and as quick as most wings, the energy he felt in the team's hotel room was a positive sign.

"It was very special to be in a room of players that could one day be referred to as the world champions of 2011," said Gerber.

"I am very positive about this team, although handing over the jerseys was a very emotional thing for me as I could not experience playing in a World Cup because of the situation (political isolation) our country was in."

Injuries forced coach Peter de Villiers' hand in selecting his team for the Fiji clash, with the latest setback being the withdrawal of replacement lock Johann Muller.

Gerber, who scored 19 tries in 24 Tests, a record only recently surpassed by Jaque Fourie, complimented Bok management for the composition of the touring squad, which he felt had the depth to accommodate injuries.

"I believe we have the right group of players to go all the way even if there are some injuries," he said.

The timing, however, of reintroducing key players, would be key as the Boks progressed in their campaign.

"If we can go through the pool stages and give guys like Victor [Matfield] and Bryan [Habana] enough time to recover, we can go all the way."


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