Boks in UK

Boks impressed with Gurthrö

2012-11-14 08:59
Gurthrö Steenkamp (AFP)
Cape Town - The Springboks have been impressed with the impact prop Gurthrö Steenkamp has made in practice this week.

Die Burger's website reports that Steenkamp is a strong candidate to wear the Bok No 1 jersey against Scotland in Edinburgh on Saturday. The role was fulfilled by CJ van der Linde against Ireland last week after the withdrawal of Tendai Mtawarira due to heart palpitations.

Steenkamp, who currently plays for French club Toulouse, joined the Boks in Dublin last week but couldn't be considered due to a rib injury. On Monday he had his first field session with the team and impressed in his first scrumming session on Tuesday.

"From the outset he made a huge impact in our training sessions and made a few huge tackles on Monday afternoon. That's Gurthrö for you. He is world class," forwards coach Johan van Graan said.

Steenkamp now stands a good chance to start at loosehead on Saturday, otherwise he'll play a big role from the bench.

"Gurthrö is doing really well at Toulouse. His strong points are mainly his ability to carry the ball and dish out huge tackles in midfield. His scrummaging has improved a lot. I think he's grown a lot over the last four years. Gurthrö is at a stage in his life where he really can be considered as a world class prop," said Van Graan.

With Mtawarira out coach Heyneke Meyer could decide to use Steenkamp and Heinke van der Merwe as looseheads, and Jannie du Plessis and the versatile Van der Linde as tightheads in his squad.

After the Test against the Scots on Saturday, the Boks conclude their European tour the following week with a clash against England in London.

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