Skinstad: Bok loosies no worry
Cape Town - Former Springbok loose forward Bob Skinstad is impressed with the amount of depth the Boks possess amongst their loose forwards.
With Juan Smith pulling out of the Rugby World Cup due to an Achilles injury, and Schalk Burger in a race against time to be fully fit, the Bok management could be forgiven for setting into a slight panic mode.
But according to Skinstad there's no need for panic.
"We are blessed with a number of first-rate loose forwards in this country," Skinstad told Die Burger newspaper.
"Several players had good Super Rugby campaigns and others are coming back after rehabilitation.
It's only a matter of choosing the right combinations. It depends on the type of game you will play in a specific game," said Skinstad.
Skinstad is highly impressed with the return of fetcher-flank Heinrich Brüssow and is also impressed with the current form of Willem Alberts, Ryan Kankowski and Ashley Johnson.
"Brüssow and Alberts could form a good combination on Saturday. (against the All Blacks in Port Elizabeth)
"The one is a fetcher (Brüssow), and the other (Alberts) is a ball-carrier.
"But Willem (Alberts) also steals numerous balls on the ground," said Skinstad.
Ashley Johnson is a reserve for the Test at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium on Saturday and Skinstad believes he provides coach Peter de Villiers with a lot of options.
He feels that Johnson has proved that he can play open-and blinside flank as well as eightman.
15 Pat Lambie, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp
Substitutes: 16 John Smit, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 CJ van der Linde, 19 Danie Rossouw, 20 Ashley Johnson, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Butch James
15 Israel Dagg, 14 Isaia Toeava, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Sonny Bill
Williams, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Liam Messam, 7
Adam Thomson, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 3
John Afoa, 2 Keven Mealamu (captain), 1 Tony Woodcock
Substitutes: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Jarrad Hoeata, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Piri Weepu, 22 Cory Jane