Jean de Villiers (Getty)
Cape Town - 1995 Rugby World Cup-winning flyhalf Joel Stransky believes that the senior players in the Springbok squad have a crucial role to play at the tournament.
The Boks lost to Japan last weekend, and their clash against Samoa on Saturday now becomes all the more important.
Amid renewed calls for coach Heyeneke Meyer's sacking as well as concerns over the faith shown in a couple of seasoned players, Stransky called for calm via his Twitter account on Wednesday.
"I’m not sure it’s time to panic. I think we need to stay calm. We need to support our team still. These things, although they seldom happen, they do happen," Stransky said.
"Let’s move on. We need to get behind the boys, we need to support them. They need to stand up, gather themselves and work out what went wrong and how to fix it and most importantly make sure it doesn’t happen again.
"They have Samoa on the weekend who will be brimming with confidence … they will have looked at that and said ‘right, the Japanese can knock off the mighty Springboks and so can we’, and that’s the one troublesome aspect of this."
Stransky backed the role of the senior players in the set-up.
"But no doubt, Jean de Villiers, Victor Matfield … the senior players will be instrumental in standing up and making sure that the Boks come back from what has been catastrophic and an absolute disaster," he said.
"But we can certainly come back … we can still finish top of our pool."
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:45.