Springboks

Meyer has high praise for Sexton

2014-11-06 07:53
Jonathan Sexton (AFP)
Cape Town - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has heaped praise on Ireland flyhalf Jonathan Sexton ahead of their Test in Dublin on Saturday.

Sexton, 29, helped steer the British and Irish Lions to Test success in Australia last year, as well as Ireland's Six Nations title success earlier this year.

Meyer, in an interview with the independent.ie website, says he truly believes Sexton is "up there with the best" flyhalves in world rugby.

"He is a quality, quality player and what I like about him is he is big, he is a good defender, he is a greater attacker and the other thing I also like about him is he is a very good tactical kicker," said Meyer.

"If you look at the Six Nations, Ireland had the best scrum and lineout as well but the one thing I believe they were way ahead of the rest was their tactical kicking and the contestable kicking."

However, the Bok coach is confident that Sexton's opposite number - 20-year-old Handre Pollard - will be up to the test against the experienced Irishman.

Pollard will earn just his seventh Springbok cap on Saturday but he produced a performance beyond his years when the Boks beat the All Blacks 27-25 at Ellis Park last month.

Meyer says Pollard is a "special, special attacking player" and while his tactical and kicking game still needs work, the coach is not afraid of Pollard being overawed by the occasion.

He also lauded Pollard for his defensive and leadership strengths, and predicted he could be a future Springbok captain.

Kick-off for Saturday's clash at Aviva Stadium is scheduled for 19:30 (SA time).

Teams:

Ireland:
TBA

South Africa:
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 JP Pietersen

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Fixtures
Saturday, 09 June 2018
New Zealand v France, Auckland 09:35
Australia v Ireland, Brisbane 12:05
South Africa v England, Johannesburg 17:05
Saturday, 16 June 2018
New Zealand v France, Wellington 09:35
Australia v Ireland, Melbourne 12:05
South Africa v England, Bloemfontein 17:05
Saturday, 23 June 2018
New Zealand v France, Dunedin 09:35
Australia v Ireland, Sydney 12:05
South Africa v England, Cape Town 17:05
Saturday, 18 August 2018
South Africa v Argentina, Durban 00:00
Saturday, 25 August 2018
Argentina v South Africa, TBA 00:00
Saturday, 08 September 2018
Australia v South Africa, Brisbane 00:00
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