Flip thankful to coach Meyer

2014-06-19 09:00
Flip van der Merwe (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Springbok lock Flip van der Merwe is thankful that Bok coach Heyneke Meyer gave him time off last week.

Van der Merwe, 29, was allowed to travel to Britain where he attended older brother Francois' wedding.

This caused him to miss South Africa's 38-16 win over Wales in Durban, but the big Bulls lock is back in the Bok starting team for this weekend's Test against the Welsh in Nelspruit. He replaces Bakkies Botha, who is rested due to a heavy workload.

Lood de Jager remains on the bench after impressing as a substitute in his debut last week.

Van der Merwe, in an interview with the Beeld website, said he appreciates Meyer's gesture to allow him time off to attend the wedding, for which he was quite nervous as he had to make a speech.

"Every Test in the Bok jersey is a big thing and it's sad when there's Saturday that you can't play. But I had butterflies in my tummy about the speech I had to make and not about a match I had to play for the Springboks.

"I did miss playing for the Boks, but a big thanks to the coach who allowed me to attend my brother's wedding."

Van der Merwe will pack down alongside Bulls team-mate Victor Matfield, who will play for the Boks a record 112th time.

Kick-off at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit is scheduled for 15:00 on Saturday.



15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Flip van der Merwe ,3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Wynand Olivier, 23 Lwazi Mvovo




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