Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The personnel in your squad, and not the game plan, will be vital to Rugby World Cup success, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer believes.
Meyer was speaking at the Springbok farewell dinner at Monte Casino in Johannesburg on Tuesday night.
Meyer stressed that all teams will be well prepared and have decent strategies in place, but he will be looking for something different from his squad to give them the edge at the showpiece event in England and Wales.
“I don’t believe you win World Cups with game plans, more or less all the teams play the same,” said Meyer.
“There’s the same equipment, the same technology and there’s been a lot of planning. I think the difference in World Cups is the people.”
Meyer also defended his decision to include several players short of recent game time.
Stalwarts like Duane Vermeulen and Fourie du Preez have not featured at all for the Boks in 2015, but the coach believes it’s vital to have experienced campaigners in the squad.
“I know I’ve received a lot of criticism with certain guys who haven’t played for a long time, but I always believe the guys who can handle and perform under pressure are the guys that can win World Cups.
“I truly believe these guys are warriors, a lot of them haven’t played but I know once they put on that jersey, they will almost die on the field for South Africa.
“We’ve got a lot of faith and trust in these 31 guys. I know they can win it for South Africa.”
The Boks will touch down in England on Saturday and their first game is against Japan in Brighton on September 19.
Their second pool game is on September 26 against Samoa in Birmingham, before Tests against Scotland in Newcastle on October 3, and the USA in London on October 7.
Springbok RWC squad:
Willem Alberts, Schalk Brits, Schalk Burger, Lood de Jager, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Francois Louw, Frans Malherbe, Victor Matfield (vice-captain), Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen, Adriaan Strauss, Duane Vermeulen
Jean de Villiers (captain), Damian de Allende, Fourie du Preez, Bryan Habana, Zane Kirchner, Jesse Kriel, Pat Lambie, Willie le Roux, Lwazi Mvovo, Rudy Paige, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Handre Pollard, Morne Steyn