Rugby Championship

Coetzee confident, fired up

2015-07-17 13:35
Marcell Coetzee (Gallo Images)

Brisbane - Springbok flank Marcell Coetzee says he’s thriving in the national set-up thanks to the mentorship from senior players and the exciting opportunities given to him.

Coetzee was one of the standout performers when the Springboks beat the World XV 46-10 at Newlands last Saturday.

He featured in a new-look loose trio alongside Francois Louw and Warren Whiteley, who combined well in the absence of Duane Vermeulen and Willem Alberts.

On attack, Coetzee built good momentum by getting over the gainline, while he displayed notable physicality on defence, making some big tackles. This has seen him retained in the Springbok team to face the Wallabies in Brisbane this weekend.

“We were very happy with our performance against the World XV. We will have to rectify certain areas, but we will go into the game against the Wallabies with confidence,” Coetzee told

“It’s great to play in this team as the players around you are like a bunch of brothers. I can turn to the experienced guys like Jean (de Villiers) and Bryan (Habana), and that’s always helpful. They manage to bring calm to the team, especially in pressure situations.”

Coetzee confirmed that his preferred position is openside flank (the No 6 jersey), but stressed that he’ll play wherever he’s needed.

“It’s tough without guys like Duane Vermeulen and Willem Alberts as they offer a lot of physicality. However, we have great structures in the national squad. If one guy has to fall out, the next guy is always ready to take over and fulfil the jersey. And we have great players in the squad to do so,” said Coetzee.

“Every player wants to play their role for the Springboks. From an individual perspective, I enjoy the physical side of the game and I will always be willing to add value in any position the coach picks me… whether it’s 6, 7 or 8… even at 12 if they need me to compete with Jean!” he quipped.

“My preferred position is at openside, and this is where coach Heyneke believes I can play a long-term role. However, in this World Cup year, I’ll be available to play in any position for the Springboks.”

Kick-off for Saturday’s clash at Suncorp Stadium is scheduled for 12:05 (SA time).



15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 James Slipper

Substitutes: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 James Horwill, 20 David Pocock, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Drew Mitchell

South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Oupa Mohoje, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Lwazi Mvovo

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