Meyer to flip the script?

2013-11-04 22:59
Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)
Cardiff - Heyneke Meyer has given the first indication that the coming tour of Wales, Scotland and France may see him depart from what most critics appear to be expecting him to, which is to stick to the policy of playing the best team in every test.

The supersport.com website reports that on the last end of year tour Meyer stuck largely to the same starting team for all three matches, but on this trip it appears he might be prepared to relax his continuity in selection policy just a little, with fringe players set to benefit by getting a playing opportunity in the middle match of the tour in Edinburgh.

Whereas for most of the southern season Meyer stuck largely with the same players who helped the Boks to a second place in the Rugby Championship and beat all opponents in the southern hemisphere season outside of New Zealand, the coach used the first tour press conference in Cardiff to sketch an alternative plan for this trip.

According to Meyer, this tour is not about winning every match, although naturally the Boks will be playing to win, but about throwing different players into the mix to see if they will sink and swim in the conditions that the Boks will encounter at the World Cup two years from now.

"Next year we will pick the best team and try to get them playing together for as many games as possible, but right now, two years out from the World Cup, I want to find out if some of the guys can make it,"  said Meyer.

"You still want to win games now, but I would rather see mistakes now than at the World Cup.

"You need to give guys opportunities (to show what they can do).

"If I remember last year’s tour to the north, we learned a lot about the players.

"Some aren’t with the team any more, while others have gone from strength to strength.

"I have decided that it really doesn’t matter what happens in the first game against Wales, some players will get a chance against Scotland. And by the end of the tour we should know at least 25 to 30 players who will go to the World Cup."

The conditions prevalent in the UK at the moment present this trip as the perfect opportunity to see what the players can do in northern hemisphere conditions, and his pledge to spread the net and give fringe players a chance will be met with the approval of most Bok supporters.

Just what Meyer means when he talks about giving players a chance is something we may have to wait until next week to find out.

Ahead of the Incoming Tours Series in South Africa in June, Meyer also spoke about spreading the net.

While the number of players used off the bench suggested he succeeded in that objective, there wasn’t as much change in the starting team as some might have anticipated.

Patrick Lambie is one who could benefit if Meyer sticks to his word by giving players a chance against Scotland.

He has played several games off the bench this season but is yet to start at international level and after his solid performances in the UK on the last November tour, he is probably owed at least one opportunity to show what he can do in the No 10 jersey.

Read more on:    springboks  |  heyneke meyer  |  rugby


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