Bok reserves remain upbeat
Sydney – Adrian Jacobs may just be a substitute for Saturday’s Test against the Wallabies, but believes he has a crucial role to play for the Springboks by staying positive on tour.
“If the heads of the reserves drop, it will affect the entire team. That is why the guys who are holding the tackle bags on tour are just as important as those playing on Saturday. If they become negative it can influence the entire squad,” said Jacobs.
Jacobs will play in his 33rd Test if he features as a substitute.
The 30-year-old Sharks player made his Test debut a decade ago on a tour of Europe and the United States and was in the rugby wilderness for a lengthy period. However, he has been a regular Bok tourist since 2008.
Jacobs has been a substitute in seven of his last nine Tests.
“It really is a nice squad full of energy and everybody is preparing as if they will play on Saturday. That is important because it will influence everybody if one guy slacks off,” said Jacobs.
Jacobs, CJ van der Linde and Chiliboy Ralepelle are experienced travellers and substitutes. It’s also noticeable that they always try to be close to the action.
For Alistair Hargreaves (2 Tests), Jean Deysel (1) and Pat Lambie (4) it’s a first Tri-Nations tour and the excitement levels are high.
However, the keenest player is probably scrumhalf Charl McLeod, who will be making his Test debut off the bench.
Last year he played his first game for the Springboks under similar circumstances when he played against the Barbarians at Twickenham.
“That was for 15 minutes and all I can remember is that it was very cold,” said McLeod.
“Things are looking good on the training field, but we will also look to apply that in the game. We expect the Wallabies to play expansively and we’ll have to be ready for that.”
McLeod already knows what he needs to do.
“Momentum and front-foot ball is what we will be looking for and part of my job will be to generate that. Ruan (Pienaar) and I have had a good chat about what is expected and I’m looking forward to making a contribution,” said the 27-year-old former pupil of Wonderboom High in Pretoria.