Nel has point to prove against the Boks

2015-09-30 19:10
WP Nel (Getty Images)

Newcastle – Pieter de Villiers believes Scotland’s tighthead prop WP Nel has a big point to prove against South Africa in a Group B World Cup encounter here at St James’ Park on Saturday.

Just like Nel, De Villiers, also a tighthead prop in his playing days, left South Africa and went on to play 68 test matches for his adopted country, France.

De Villiers, who was born in Malmesbury, is now the scrum coach of the Springboks. He believes moving to Europe plays a big role in the development of a prop forward. He feels WP Nel is one of those players who has benefitted immensely as a result of this.

“I think WP has really developed as a player since he moved to Europe,” said De Villiers at the Bok hotel on Tuesday.

“Playing in Europe brings a different challenge at scrum time. WP is now a much more balanced and rounded player and has become Scotland’s number one tighthead prop. He definitely has a lot to prove and we expect a huge battle with him there in the front row,” warned De Villiers.

The former French international believes the Boks will have to make a big step-up in the scrums if they want to beat Scotland on Saturday.

“Last week we initially struggled in the scrums against Samoa. However, we became stronger as the match progressed. We made a few technical adjustments and things improved especially towards the end of the game,” he explained.

De Villiers believes Scotland will pose a much greater threat across the park with the New Zealander, Vern Cotter, as coach.

“Vern is a brilliant coach who has made a huge difference to the way Scotland play the game. They have had a brilliant start to the competition. They are top of the log in Group B and we are expecting a huge battle,” he added.

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