Meyer zones in on breakdown
Cape Town - Speaking after his 36-man training squad rounded-off their camp in Newlands on Monday evening, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said he has concerns about South Africa's playing capacity at the breakdowns and the slow development of backline play.
Meyer has prepared a presentation, which he hopes will help improve the skills of South African players at the breakdown, believing that they are some distance from their international counterparts.
"South Africa is lagging far behind the rest of the world in breakdown play and very soon I'll be doing a presentation to SA Rugby and the coaches with the view to showing them how we can improve," Meyer said.
GALLERY: Springbok training session
"I also feel that our backline play has not developed as much as it should and I hope to share some ideas with the franchise coaches. It's something that we have already addressed I have seen an improvement, but we have some very good backline players who could do much better."
As far as player depth was concerned, Meyer said the loss of national players to leagues abroad was part and parcel of the modern-day game but added that he was disappointed that players plying their trade in Japan were not available.
"The International Rugby Board does have a provision which allows a country to select players based in Japan but the clubs there fork out huge sums of money for the foreigners and they don't expect to lose players for national team call-ups," Meyer said.
"One cannot blame the players because it is very lucrative and the players don't want to fall out with their (Japanese) clubs.
"We have some very good players in Japan, and I think especially of Fourie du Preez and Jaque Fourie, both of whom could still play for the Springboks."
The depth at scrumhalf and at lock was another source of concern for the Bok mentor.
"Right now the scrumhalf berth (in the Bok team) is wide open and that's why I brought in (Sharks scrumhalf) Cobus Reinach and Louis Schreuder," said Meyer.
"We have two scrumhalves (Jano Vermaak and Francois Hougaard) out injured and Reinach has been playing well. I think that Schreuder is a fine prospect with lots of ability, and I'm grateful that Western Province released him to train with us.
"We've lost our five top locks and no country can afford that (without suffering as a consequence).
"Pieter-Steph du Toit is a player with world-class potential and has the ability to become a world great."