Meyer: Schalk best at No 8

2015-07-15 10:49
Schalk Burger (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer believes that No is Schalk Burger's best position. 

The 32-year-old Stormers loose forward will start at the back of the scrum against the Wallabies on Saturday at the expense of Warren Whiteley, who started last weekend's game against the World XV at Newlands. 

Burger was making his way back from a groin strain then, but he is now fit and ready to go and he looks increasingly more like Meyer's first choice to play at No 8 in the absence of the injured Duane Vermeulen.

"Warren did well, but I think that probably Schalk’s best position is at eight," Meyer said in Brisbane on Wednesday.

"He’s changed his whole game since he was a youngster when he was an out-and-out open side flank and very physical around the breakdown.

"Suddenly he’s developed his game and he’s got some brilliant touches and he can get the ball away. He’s a great, skilful player so I think he can add value from eight. Although he’s still physical, with age he’s developed the touches."

Meyer added that he expected a breakdown battle against the Wallabies and that having Burger in the mix would aid his side's cause.

"I think it’s going to be tough on the ground … and with him there we have an extra loose forward who can contest on the ground," said Meyer.

"It was always the plan to give him a go at eight. Warren didn’t do anything wrong, it’s just a rotation policy and it’s great to have two number eights contesting for Duane’s position."

Saturday's match kicks off at 12:05. 




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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