Heyneke defends Kirchner selection

2015-08-12 15:06
Zane Kirchner (Gallo Images)

Durban - Heyneke Meyer has long been an admirer of Zane Kirchner and the Springbok coach has defended his decision to pick the 31-year-old for Saturday’s Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires.

Kirchner, who plays his rugby in Ireland with Leinster, will start at fullback against the Pumas and earn his 30th Test cap in the process.

His last appearance for the Boks came over a year ago against Scotland in Port Elizabeth on June 28, 2014.

Since then, Willie le Roux has made the Bok fullback position his own.

However, the soon-to-be Sharks man is suffering from an ankle injury and is unavailable for the weekend, which has re-opened the door for Kirchner.

“Zane is probably the guy with the second - I think I’m the first now - most critics in South Africa,” Meyer joked on Wednesday.

“When he played 15 and Morne (Steyn) played 10 we had an 80% winning record.

“And then a guy like Handre Pollard comes in and scores against the All Blacks and then everybody wants him in ... and then they’re the same people booing him off the field.

“As a coach you learn that you have to stick with what you believe in and Zane has always been brilliant.”

Meyer also dropped a strong hint that Kirchner would be a part of his final 31-man World Cup squad.

“In a World Cup you need a guy who can field high balls and who can attack as well and Zane has been brilliant for us with that,” he said.

Read more on:    springboks  |  heyneke meyer  |  zane kirchner  |  rugby


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