England in SA

Continuity key for Heyneke

2012-06-20 17:35
Heyneke Meyer (File)

Port Elizabeth - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer says he opted for continuity rather than blooding new players when he picked his team to face England in the third and final Test here on Saturday.

With a series whitewash on the cards, Meyer said on Wednesday, he would not hand out caps lightly.

"It is always great to get new guys involved and it is a proud moment for them and their families when they get announced as Springbok players," Meyer said.

"But I said from the start, I don't want to make it cheap, it's a big honour to play for your country.

"I wanted to have some continuity going forward because these are only the first few steps in a long journey, and we must use every opportunity to make us a better team."

The Boks' standout player of the series, flanker Willem Alberts, has been ruled out due to injury along with fullback Patrick Lambie.

In what must be one of the greatest rises in top class rugby, Bulls flanker Jacques Potgieter replaced Alberts.

In only a year, Potgieter has progressed from Currie Cup first division to the Sprinbok team.

Lambie's absence forced Meyer to select his third fullback of the series with Gio Aplon receiving a starting berth.

Inside centre Francois Steyn is getting married on the weekend which created an opportunity for Wynand Olivier to shine in the midfield.

There are two changes on the bench with flyhalf Elton Jantjies being selected for the first time, earning his Bok debut should he be called upon, and Ryan Kankowski replacing Keegan Daniel.

"I am very happy with continuity," said Meyer.

"Unfortunately there were a few injuries but I am very happy for the guys coming in.

"There is a lot of experience as well, and one or two new caps."

With the series already won, Meyer reflected on the team's performance over the last two weeks where he felt they were not near their potential best.

"I am happy with the huge strides the team has made in some areas of our play," he said.

"I think there are a lot of people who are surprised with the way we play.

"This is not even 10 percent of where we need to be and it is going to a long journey."

Last week, the Boks were clinical in the first half before dropping the intensity in the second 40 minutes - a reversal from the first Test.

South Africa had been commanding at Coca-Cola Park, leading 25-10 at half-time but allowed the English to be within four points with a little over 20 minutes left to play.

A late JP Pietersen try clinched the match and the series for the Boks.

"I really believe we gave soft tries away," said Meyer.

"It is not a defensive error or a coaching error it is just soft moments and that is one thing I said to the team yesterday.

"Defence is part of your culture, part of who you are and part of your character.

"I wasn’t happy with the easy tries we gave away without taking anything away from England.

"To score 30-plus points in a Test takes a lot of doing and to score four tries is great but you can’t give away soft tries."


South Africa:

15 Gio Aplon, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtwarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Ryan Kankowski, 20 Ruan Pienaar, 21 Elton Jantjies, 22 Bjorn Basson



Read more on:    springboks  |  england in sa  |  heyneke meyer  |  rugby


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