Springboks

Meyer admits to toughest days

2014-06-11 16:00
Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)

Durban - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer says he has faced some of his toughest days in the job recently, leading up to the announcement of his team to play Wales in the first of two Tests in Durban on Saturday.

"It's definitely been the toughest few weeks for me," Meyer said in Durban on Wednesday.

"You plan for five months, you can't wait to get going and then suddenly you get curve balls from all over.

"It's been tough ... losing some quality centres within the space of a week or a week and half."

The South African camp was hit by the news of Francois Steyn's withdrawal from the squad late on Tuesday.

They were also without regular captain Jean de Villiers, who was ruled out of the June Tests through injury, just days before a national training camp late last month.

Meyer said he had a good relationship with Steyn and accepted his decision to make himself unavailable for the Springboks.

"Obviously I'm a little bit disappointed that he's not available, but I respect his decision.

"I just want to wish him and his family the best of luck for their future.

"People always say the third year is difficult. You always think it's going to be smooth sailing but that's the challenge of the team.

"I truly believe we have experienced players and you've just got to get on with it."

Announcing his latest team, Meyer named winger Cornal Hendricks as one of two debutants in his match-day 23.

Cheetahs team-mate and lock Lood de Jager would play off the bench.

There were three changes from the side which beat a World XV 47-13 in Cape Town last weekend.

The biggest surprise was the inclusion of France-based prop Gurthro Steenkamp, who was picked ahead of Tendai Mtawarira.

Steenkamp would earn his 50th cap at Kings Park on Saturday.

Bulls centre Jan Serfontein replaced Steyn in the midfield, while Fourie du Preez was named ahead of Ruan Pienaar at scrumhalf.

Meyer said his decision to leave out Mtawarira for Steenkamp was merely rotational.

"Beast has a played a lot of rugby and really done well," Meyer said.

"The great thing about this team is we play for each other and I had a discussion with Beast, who was very understanding. There wasn't a lot to choose between them."

As for Serfontein, who would make his first start in the green and gold after playing nine times of the bench, Meyer said he had groomed him and wanted to give him a chance.

It's a great opportunity for him and it will be a hell of a test against Jamie Roberts, who is one of the best centres in the world."

South Africa: Juan de Jongh (chest infection), Siya Kolisi (flu), Oupa Mohoje (flu) and Marnitz Boshoff (ankle) were not considered for selection.

Teams:

South Africa:
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 Bakkies Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp

Substitutes: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Johan Goosen, 23 Lwazi Mvovo

Wales:
TBA

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

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
119 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

10 facts about swimming you didn't know

This will make you want to jump right into the pool.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Snors with a cause - creating awareness of male health
Inspiring: Rock climbing with just one leg
Watch! Skateboarders racing cyclists
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!
Fixtures
08 November 2014
Ireland v South Africa, Dublin 19:30
15 November 2014
England v South Africa, London 16:30
22 November 2014
Italy v South Africa, Padova 16:00
Vote

The Currie Cup is a thing of the past and attention now turns to the Springboks' end of year tour where they will play Ireland, England, Italy and Wales. How many Test will Heyneke Meyer's men win?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

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