The Springboks gather today to continue preparations for their match against Australia in Brisbane on Saturday. While the Boks did manage two wins from two matches and are sitting at the top of the Championship table, do we anticipate any changes to the squad?
News doing the rounds is that Quade Cooper will start for the Wallabies, and whether that move is just a publicity stunt to get the Boks off their game, the likelihood that he starts is there. The question though is, will Heyneke Meyer change his team to nullify Cooper, or are we already prepared for his inclusion?
In my opinion, to shut down any flyhalf, you need fast loose forwards and a scrumhalf who is on the ball at all times. While we have great loose forwards, from the current crop, none are especially quick, Louw being the fastest to the breakdown. In Ruan Pienaar, again, he is a decent scrumhalf, but putting pressure on the opposition is not a strong point of his. Does this warrant a change to the starting team, I am not sure.
Rugby is about playing to your own strengths while making sure the opposition never quite get into a rhythm. At some point though, you have to decide where your focus lies, whether you play your game plan whatever the opposition throws at you, or whether you focus on disrupting your opposition. And for each of these differing game plans, you need a different set of players.
Keeping the above in the back of your mind when the team is announced later in the week should give you a clear indication of what the coach is thinking. For instance, if we suddenly see Bismarck du Plessis start ahead of Adriaan Strauss, we are sure to see more disruption on the opposition than playing our game. Similarly in the loose trio, if Willem Alberts should suddenly find himself in the bench, replaced by a more mobile loose forward, we can see what the coach is thinking.
This brings me to my question to you, the fan. Do you think changes are necessary to the current Springbok starting line-up? Your answer should take into account players that are currently with the team, there is no point in suggesting Fourie du Preez starts, as he is not available to the team.
Personally, I would love to see Patrick Lambie given a run at fullback, with Willie le Roux taking over from Bjorn Basson on the wing. This would give le Roux a bit more freedom without having to worry that he is leaving his spot at the back unmanned. Another change I would suggest is to start with Bismarck du Plessis, he must be hungry for game time and we do not lose anything in terms of experience or leadership from the team with this change.Tweet