Final experiments for Meyer

2014-10-29 19:00
Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - With only eight Tests left before the start of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer will be conducting his final experiments during the Outgoing Tour of the Northern Hemisphere starting next week.

Meyer would even sacrifice his 100 percent winning record on an end-of-year tour rather than go into the World Cup with questions marks over certain positions.

"It will be foolish not to find answers to some of the questions and to arrive at the World Cup still uncertain about those things which could cost you the title," Meyer said in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

"Next year there is little time left for us with only four Rugby Championship matches before the World Cup and we will certainly be looking for answers on this tour."

It is with this in mind that Meyer has selected a larger squad than usual, with 36 players on a tour which includes Tests against Ireland, Italy, England and Wales.

The inflated squad will also come in handy in the final Test against Wales as none of the overseas-based players will be available as the match falls outside the international Test window.

However, Meyer stressed he would not be handing out Test caps willy nilly and would opt for continuity in the first three matches.

"This is the last opportunity for us to work with every single player and there are a lot of players who are unlucky not to be here," he said.

"We will probably go more or less with the same team with one or two changes but we have to go in with some sort of continuity in the first Test.

"Even if they don't all get a game ... I want to expose them to the Springbok culture as you have to have depth."

The squad boasted five newcomers with in-form quintet of Robbie Coetzee, Julian Redelinghuys, Nizaam Carr, Jaco Kriel and Seabelo Senatla called into the Springbok structures.

"In the last Test where we can't use the overseas-based players, there will be some new faces but with the first three matches we will go with the players we have," Meyer said.

"You want to make experiments but every single Test is one that you have to win while there aren't any easy matches. We have a proud record on tour which we would like to keep intact."

Meanwhile, prop Coenie Oosthuizen and flyhalf Johan Goosen have been recalled to the squad with both players set to play out of position.

While Oosthuizen has featured at tighthead for the Boks with mixed success, Goosen was set to feature at fullback.

The Boks have been at pains to find a understudy to first-choice tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis, with Marcel van der Merwe and Frans Malherbe ruled out due to injury.

Redelinghuys, who has been a powerhouse in the Lions front-row during the Super Rugby competition, and Oosthuizen will be tested on tour and could be the remedy to one of Meyer's chronic headaches.


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