London - They’re obviously not going to let on what it is and we’ll have to wait until Thursday’s team announcement until it becomes public knowledge, but the Springboks are confident they have come up with a good plan to combat the loss to injury of their one specialist openside flank.
Roelof Smit has flown home after tearing a pectoral muscle, and coach Allister Coetzee said after Smit’s fate was confirmed that he would improvise in his attempt to find a solution to what he sees as an openside flank crisis. After training on Tuesday, forwards coach Matt Proudfoot was confident that the plan the Boks have in place is workable.
“The breakdowns are a definite area of concern and focus at the moment as it was obvious we weren’t good there in the first game (against the Barbarians),” said Proudfoot.
“But Roelof had a good season with the Bulls and with so many other players in that position out injured he was a logical selection and I was looking forward to seeing how he’d go. Now that he is not there we have come up with a contingency plan. We have a plan in place and we are really confident it will work.
“It looked promising during training today and we will push it forward on Thursday and see how we go. What I can say now is that I am pleased with where we are at the moment in terms of what we want to achieve with our breakdown and the collision and contact area at Twickenham on Saturday.”
The million dollar question of course is what the make-up of the Bok back-row will be on Saturday. There are a couple of left field possibilities in addition to the more obvious one, which is that Nizaam Carr, who has worn the No6 jersey plenty of times at Super Rugby, will just switch from No8 to openside.
The Boks are keeping everything top secret, with Tuesday’s session being completely closed to media.
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