Mallett: Boks healthy at lock

2014-06-30 09:01
Nick Mallett (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Nick Mallett says the Springboks' lock stocks look particularly promising with next year's Rugby World Cup in mind.

As it happened: South Africa v Scotland

The former Bok coach was speaking in the SuperSport studio after South Africa's 55-6 win over Scotland at the weekend.

With Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit out injured, Cheetahs youngster Lood de Jager stepped up alongside Victor Matfield.

And with Flip van der Merwe and Bakkies Botha also in the mix for next year's World Cup in England, Mallett said coach Heyneke Meyer should not have sleepless night over this position.

"In Victor you have a player whose strong point is not hitting rucks, so you have to have a forward who does that. He's played all his life with Bakkies Botha. We're very fortunate in South Africa to have Eben Etzebeth, who can do the same job, and this youngster Lood de Jager, who came through last year. And even in Super Rugby in a slightly battling Cheetahs team he has always proved that he's very physical. He's had two great caps now for the Springboks, he's been so physical, knocking the guys back. Looking at the locks for the World Cup, I think Pieter-Steph du Toit did enough to be in the running. You've got now between Bakkies, Etzebeth and Lood de Jager as options as your No 4 lock. There's plenty of options and that's a nice position to be in," said Mallett.

One area in which the Boks struggled was the scrums, something Mallett admitted was a worry.

"We are still not convincing in the scrums. It's the one area of the game that I worry about. Our lineouts are solid, our driving mauls are well organised, we have a good exit strategy, a good kicking game, great ball carrying forwards, backs who hit the advantage line at pace, a very creative fullback and good pace on the wings, but if Jannie (du Plessis) gets injured we're in a bit of trouble.

"We didn't use this June as an opportunity to blood a new tighthead. We gave Coenie (Oosthuizen) a bit of a go and it arguably wasn't a great success. Here was perhaps an opportunity to give a longer time to Marcel van der Merwe, but he played a lot of the game at loosehead.

"Bismarck du Plessis has also played a tremendous amount of rugby this season, so those brothers have held both the Sharks' front row together and the Springboks' front row together for a very long time and they need to be rested. In the same way that we've rejuvenated a lot of players by bringing youngsters into their positions and helped to produce competition, we haven't done that up front."

Read more on:    springboks  |  nick mallett  |  rugby


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

11 June 2016
South Africa v Ireland, Cape Town 17:00
18 June 2016
South Africa v Ireland, Emirates Airlines Park 17:00
25 June 2016
South Africa v Ireland, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 17:00
20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina, Nelspruit 17:00
27 August 2016
Argentina v South Africa, TBA 00:00
10 September 2016
Australia v South Africa, Brisbane 00:00
17 September 2016
New Zealand v South Africa, Addington, Christchurch 00:00
01 October 2016
South Africa v Australia, Pretoria 17:00
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

The appointment of Allister Coetzee as the new Springboks coach is ...

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


As the Absa Premiership nears the Christmas break, a little over half the season remains. Who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Which teams will be relegated? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.