Coetzee eager to see young stars in action

2016-10-30 21:32
Allister Coetzee (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee is excited about the prospect of seeing several young South Africans in action when the Boks face the Barbarians at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday.

The Springbok coach has included 12 uncapped players in his travelling squad of 30 for the match, while Barbarians coach Robbie Dean also selected a number of young South Africans in his composite team.

The Killik Cup match against the famous invitation club side will kick off a four-week trip for the Springboks, who will also face England, Italy and Wales on consecutive weekends as part of their end-of-year tour.

The South Africans arrived in London on Saturday and will resume their preparations on Monday morning at the Lensbury Hotel sports ground.

According to Coetzee they are excited about the prospects of playing against a quality Barbarian side. “I think Robbie Deans assembled a squad with a lot of experience and also exciting young players.” said Coetzee.

"If you look at the composition of that squad then you will see there are a couple of South African players such as Robert du Preez (Western Province), Kwagga Smit, Ruan Ackermann (both Golden Lions) and Clayton Blommetjies (Free State Cheetahs)," explained Coetzee.

"They added experienced players such as Ruan Pienaar (Munster and Springboks), Andy Ellis (Crusaders/Kobelco Steelers and New Zealand) and Luke Whitelock (Crusaders and New Zealand), who have all played Test match rugby."

According to Coetzee the Barbarians’ style of play will be a challenge for his youthful side: "Traditionally, the Barbarians play an attacking, expansive type of game, which will be a test for us.

"But, we have to follow our processes and make sure we lay a good foundation and get off to a good start for our tour."

The Baa-baas completed its squad selection by calling up four players - flanks Ackermann and Smith, lock Martin Muller and hooker Akker van der Merwe - from the Golden Lions.

They are joined by Free State Cheetahs fullback Blommetjies, Western Province flyhalf Du Preez and Montpellier’s former Lions prop, Schalk van der Merwe.

The latest invitations take to 26 the number of players assembled by Deans, who is being assisted by former England centre Will Greenwood.

Deans has some exciting young Super Rugby talent at his disposal as well as Test players from four nations in South Africa’s Pienaar, Ellis, Seta Tamanivalu and Whitelock (all from New Zealand), Sam Carter, Luke Morahan, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Paddy Ryan and Toby Smith (all from Australia) and also Dan Tuohy (Ireland).

Read more on:    springboks  |  allister coetzee  |  rugby

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