Springboks

Boks look to give Van Graan winning send-off

2017-11-17 14:48
Johann van Graan (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Springboks are looking to give assistant coach Johann van Graan the perfect send-off before he heads to Irish club Munster.

Saturday's clash against France in Paris will be Van Graan's last in the Bok set-up, bringing to an end a coaching stint that goes all the way back to 2011. 

Van Graan is joining Munster as head coach, replacing incoming Springbok Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus

"Coach Johann is an incredibly hard worker, very knowledgeable and he has great people skills," said Springbok captain Eben Etzebeth.

"I personally enjoyed his company and the opportunity to work with him. He has all the qualities of a very good coach and we want to wish him and his family all of the best in his new adventure at Munster."

Etzebeth added that he and his team-mates are focused on delivering a good performance on Saturday.

"We have a job to do on Saturday and our focus is on the game," said Etzebeth.

"I am sure back home everyone is disappointed with the outcome of the (2023) Rugby World Cup bid, but that will not have any influence on us."

Etzebeth mentioned that following the loss to Ireland in Dublin last Saturday, the team sat down at the beginning of the week and had an honest and tough discussion.

"So far, the week has gone very well for us, our preparations have been good and we are ready for a tough match against France. We know we have to improve in all areas," said Etzebeth, who added that the return of No 8 Duane Vermeulen has boosted the experience in the squad.

"Apart from his experience, he is also an exceptionally good option at the back of the lineout. We all know Duane is a world-class No 8, a good ball carrier and a good tackler.

"Duane also captained Toulon so he has great leadership qualities, which will be of help to me on the field and it’s just awesome to have him back."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 22:00.

Teams:

France

15 Nans Ducuing, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Mathieu Bastareaud, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Anthony Belleau, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Kevin Gourdon, 6 Judicael Cancoriet, 5 Paul Gabrillagues, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1 Jefferson Poirot

Substitutes: 16 Clement Maynadier, 17 Sebastien Taofifenua, 18 Daniel Kotze, 19 Paul Jedrasiak, 20 Anthony Jelonch, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Francois Trinh-Duc, 23 Damian Penaud

South Africa

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Wilco Louw 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira 

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Dan du Preez, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Damian de Allende

Read more on:    springboks  |  eben etzebeth  |  rugby
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