Meyer looks to Boks' mental state

2015-06-02 17:50
Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Coach Heyneke Meyer says he will not select SA's Rugby World Cup squad on skill alone and is also looking for players with the mental toughness to carry the side through difficult moments.

He sounded a warning to his senior players that reputation will not buy them a ticket to England later in the year as he seeks to root out complacency.

"You need guys who are mentally tough. The World Cup is not always the team that wants it most...every single team out there wants it for their country," Meyer told reporters.

Coped best

"It's not always the best team (that wins). I believe World Cups are about guys who can handle the pressure because it is immense pressure."

Meyer said he had been keeping an eye on South Africa's travelling Super Rugby teams to see which players coped best in Australasia.

"It is away from home in tough conditions, especially in New Zealand, and a lot of the fringe players have put up their hands," he added.

Meyer has had more than 40 players in a pre-World Cup camp in Cape Town this week and several with little or no international experience.

It would be a risk to take them to the World Cup but Meyer said he had no qualms about doing so if he felt they would give him a better chance of victory.

Great for team

"The senior players know I have never picked just on reputation, they have to perform now and in the (Rugby) Championship. If there are youngsters pushing them who know they have a chance, then that is great for the team," he explained.

"You don't want to go in with an old side in a comfort zone knowing they will play every game and who just assume they are going to win the World Cup."

The World Cup will be held from September 18 to October 31.

South Africa are in Pool B along with Japan, Samoa, Scotland and United States.

Read more on:    rwc 2015  |  heyneke meyer  |  cape town  |  springboks

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