Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee says it was important to back struggling prop Ruan Dreyer for Saturday's Rugby Championship clash against the All Blacks in Cape Town.
The scrums were an issue for the Boks in their 27-27 draw against Australia in Bloemfontein last weekend as well as in their 57-0 loss to the All Blacks in Albany three weekends ago, and both times Dreyer came in for some heavy criticism.
The 27-year-old has just three Tests to his name and there were suggestions that he would loose his place to Wilco Louw for Saturday.
Instead, Coetzee has backed Dreyer once as Louw comes onto the bench as the tighthead cover.
"Wilco Louw gets an opportunity off the bench and he’s an experienced
tighthead," Coetzee explained.
"We have worked hard at scrimmaging this week and hopefully
we’ll see a great performance out there.
"It’s important to
give Ruan Dreyer another opportunity to fix things. Who says the next guy
coming in, Wilco, will get it right first time?"
Building capacity and depth in every positions has been something that Coetzee has spoken about a lot this year, and he says that the only way Dreyer will improve at Test level is if he is given opportunities to play.
"I know Wilco’s scummaging
prowess. He’s been scrummaging well the whole Super Rugby campaign. Just to
know that already brings confidence," Coetzee said.
"Ruan will definitely be a better player
this weekend and he’s learnt from the lessons of last week and the two weeks
before in Albany.
"That is how players gain experience; by growing. You cannot
just become a tighthead prop if you don’t scrum and you don’t scrum against the
With Tendai Mtawarira ruled out due to personal reasons, Steven Kitshoff gets a start at loosehead while Trevor Nyakane will cover that position from the bench.
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6, Siya Kolisi, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende
15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Kane Hames
Substiitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 David Havili