Handre Pollard (Gallo Images)
Newcastle – Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer says he has few reservations about fielding young players in all three influential backline berths between Nos 10 and 13 against Scotland in the World Cup here on Saturday (17:45 SA time).
There will be a healthy glimpse of the Bok future – as much as there will be huge expectation more immediately -- when the 21-year-old Handre Pollard, 23-year-old Damian de Allende and 21-year-old Jesse Kriel occupy those jerseys respectively at the north-east football temple of St James’ Park.
Meyer did make the pertinent point that the trio will not exactly be tossed into quicksand with no hope of any senior aid, given that immediately inside them will be an acting captain and scrumhalf – Fourie du Preez – with 72 caps and a World Cup-winning medal, and beyond them on the wings two other prior winners in Bryan Habana and JP Pietersen (a massive 174 appearances between them).
But he also articulated at his team announcement press briefing, where he seemed in an ebullient mood, how his belief in seasoned customers is counterbalanced by a clear-cut faith in youth.
“I’ve always believed at World Cups you have to have at least some guys with good seniority and lots of experience.
“But what this 10, 12 and 13 have all done for us in tough games is ... that they’ve (shown they can) come through.
“What we lack in experience (in those positions) we’ll bring in pure, pure heart. Sometimes youngsters don’t actually understand the big moments; they bring no fear.
“Boris Becker at 17 won Wimbledon and didn’t feel pressure. Mike Tyson at 21 was best boxer in the world and didn’t care about anything. I can go on and on ...”
*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing. Rob is attending the Bok pool phase of RWC 2015 to provide news and analysis for Sport24 readers.