Springboks

Matfield: No depth issues at lock

2015-07-10 19:00
Victor Matfield (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Flank Oupa Mohoje is the cover at lock for the Springboks against the World XV on Saturday, but Victor Matfield has no concerns over the squad's depth in the position as 2015 World Cup preparations continue.

Matfield will partner Eben Etzebeth in the second row on Saturday in a combination that is the clear front-runner to be coach Heyneke Meyer's first choice at the World Cup, but in Mohoje they have a largely untested entity. 

That combined with Flip van der Merwe's presence in the World XV squad has prompted questions over his World Cup availability, and while Matfield has confidence in the players in the current setup he is also aware of what Van der Merwe could bring to the table.

"I think a guy like Lood (De Jager) has been injured for a long time, so he'll be ready one of these days. Hopefully one or two of the other guys who are still injured will come through," said Matfield. 

"Franco Mostert has been training very well and he's played very well in Super Rugby as well.

"And then you've still got a guy like Flip van der Merwe playing for the World XV that's really experienced. He's been in this squad for a year or two and can probably come in as well. So I think there's good options for us."

Matfield added that although Mohoje would have to adjust to certain aspects if he was required at lock there was a lot that he could offer.

"I think if you have a look at the games last year against the All Blacks where Oupa played loose forward I used him a lot in the lineouts. He's really quick in the lineouts ... it will be great for Oupa if he shows he can do something at lock as well," said Matfield. 

"I think especially going to a World Cup, that will be an opportunity for him to show what he can do.

"Probably the tough thing for him will be the lineout drives, the lineout mauls and the scrum. He's not used to that role but when it comes to lineouts I think he's very good and he'll give us a lot of mobility as well in open play."

Matfield will captain the Boks on Saturday as Jean de Villiers, primed for his return to the game, takes up a place on the bench. 

Kick-off at Newlands is at 17:00. 

Teams:

Springboks:

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

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Oupa Mohoje, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jean de Villiers

World XV:

15 Delon Armitage, 14 Lachlan Turner, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 David Smith, 10 Mike Harris, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Bakkies Botha (captain), 4 Ali Williams, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp

Substitutes: 16 David Roumieu, 17 Alexandre Menini, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Flip Van der Merwe, 20 Louis-Benoit Madaule, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Andrew Horrell, 23 Rudi Wulf

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