Boks hunt for back-up fetcher

2013-06-12 16:11
Marcell Coetzee (Gallo Images)
Nelspruit - Francois Louw's absence from the Springbok team against Scotland has given the team an ideal opportunity to look at alternatives.

Louw was released from the national squad in preparation for his wedding day and will not be considered for Saturday’s Test against Scotland in Nelspruit. Kick-off is at 17:15.

Speaking to the SA Rugby magazine website, coach Heyneke Meyer said he was eager to take a look at other players who could play the role of 'fetcher'.

GALLERY: Match-ups - Boks v Scotland

Marcell Coetzee, one of five changes to the Springbok team to face Scotland, is set to start at openside flank this Saturday, with Siya Kolisi providing cover from the bench.

Neither Coetzee, nor Kolisi are regarded as being in the classic fetcher mould, but Meyer hinted that they may have to add that string to their bows if they want to be considered for selection.

"If you look at who officiates in our Tests, it's northern hemisphere referees. So you really need somebody in that role who can slow the opposition's ball down," Heyneke said.

"I want to build a big squad of 35 players and have alternatives in every position. This opportunity is important for guys like Marcell and Siya.

"They have to show me that they can specialise in that role. If not, I will have to consider other options. Even a guy like a Heinrich Brüssow will come into contention."

Kolisi, who could earn his first Springbok cap this weekend if he is called off the bench against Scotland, said Meyer had placed special emphasis on the breakdown in the past couple of weeks, and said he had learnt a lot from Louw.

"It's been great to work with Francois Louw these past two weeks," said Kolisi.

"He has given me and Marcell plenty of advice on how to approach the breakdown."

"It's a massive benefit for me, as I don't play that way (as a fetcher) at the Stormers. Francois has given me some advice on when to go for the ball and when to leave it alone. When it's 50/50, he's told me to rather back off.

"It's really exciting to have this opportunity, but I'm well aware of the pressure to get it right. I have to be disciplined at the breakdown. Yes, I want to do well for this team, but I must ensure that I don't get too excited and give away penalties."


South Africa:

15. Willie le Roux, 14. Bryan Habana, 13. JJ Engelbrecht, 12. Jean de Villiers (captain), 11. Bjorn Basson, 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Ruan Pienaar, 8. Pierre Spies, 7. Arno Botha, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Juandré Kruger, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Adriaan Strauss, 1. Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16. Bismarck du Plessis, 17. Trevor Nyakane, 18. Coenie Oosthuizen, 19. Flip van der Merwe, 20. Siya Kolisi, 21. Piet van Zyl, 22. Pat Lambie, 23. Jan Serfontein




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