Durban - Pieter-Steph du Toit’s new role in the Springbok squad will see him come off the bench for Willem Alberts against Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday (kick-off 21:40 SA time).
Bok coach Heyneke Meyer has opted for the 22-year-old as his loose forward cover on the bench, while Flip van der Merwe is the lock over.
Alberts is returning from injury and will play his first part in the Boks’ World Cup preparations, and Meyer will be able to field an out-and-out ball carrier for the first time this season.
“What is difficult at the moment is that we have five guys injured from the previous side. Four of our top loose forwards are all injured and we don’t have ball carriers,” he said.
“Super Rugby and Rugby Championship is a totally different game, you can move the ball around and play two opensides.
“When you play northern hemisphere teams it’s an arm wrestle and you need big ball carriers. We haven’t had that.”
Meyer also shed some light on what his forward composition might look like when he selects his final World Cup squad, and he said that Du Toit’s versatility would come in handy.
“In a World Cup you probably take five loose forwards and three locks, so one of those guys like a Danie Rossouw needs to be able to back up as a flank or a loose forward,” he said.
“Willem needs game time, but he’s only going to last probably 30 to 40 minutes. I just felt that if Willem comes off, and he’s definitely going to come off, we need another big ball carrier and Pieter-Steph… I’ve always rated him and he’s played there for the SA under-20s.”
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Lwazi Mvovo, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Trevor Nyakane
Substitutes: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20, Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Jan Serfontein
Additional tour squad members:
Bismarck du Plessis, Steven Kitshoff, Siya Kolisi, Rudy Paige, Elton Jantjies