Sport

Meyer sweating over Springbok injuries

Ockert De Villiers

Bok coach Heyneke Meyer was left to sweat over his team selection for Saturday's game against Australia with a number of players nursing injuries.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer. (Gallo)

The team enjoyed a week's rest after their 21-11 loss to the All Blacks in New Zealand a fortnight ago.

"I thought after a week off we could have a hard training session with all 30 players,” Meyer said.

“There were a few attacking things we wanted to put in, but there are a few injuries, a few from the Currie Cup and one or two from this morning's training session.”

Team doctor Craig Robberts on Monday said he had a busy day with some of the injuries he had to deal with.

“Coenie [Oosthuizen] has general stiffness which was expected after having not played for a while, Jacques Potgieter has a mild groin strain, which kept him out of training and Lwazi [Mvovo] has a tight hamstring,” Robberts said.

“In terms of the guys who played overseas, two players are still struggling, Flip van der Merwe has a mild calf strain, so he didn't train and Johan Goosen has a bruised heel, so we've managed him too.”

Greatest concern
The greatest concern for the Springbok mentor on Monday was an ankle injury inside centre Frans Steyn sustained in the morning session.

Steyn was seen walking on crutches to keep the weight off the ankle he injured five minutes into training.

The Boks will be back in action on home soil for the first time since they beat Argentina 27-6 in Cape Town on August 18.

They have since been jet setting between South America, Australasia and South Africa with a draw and two losses to show for their efforts.

“There were three tough games away from home and we were the only team to play three away from home,” he said.

“But the team is much more relaxed and we had a great day, so hopefully we play good rugby on Saturday.”

The national side has been under severe public pressure with Bok flyhalf Morné Steyn bearing the brunt of criticism for his drop in form. This Bok side showed some promise against the All Blacks but ill-discipline and poor goal kicking finally cost them the match.

Remaining optimistic
Meyer said he remained optimistic about the team's progress and believed they would soon play to their full potential.

“I have a good feeling about this team,” Meyer said.

“We went through the videos this morning and we were ahead in territory and possession and kicked seven kicks less than the All Blacks.

“So our last game was great, we just didn't win it … I am confident we will play well on Saturday.”

The call to replace Steyn with promising Cheetahs flyhalf Johan Goosen or Lions pivot Elton Jantjies has grown in recent weeks but Meyer remained tight lipped on whether he would drop the incumbent Bok flyhalf.

“There has been a lot of criticism about him, but we are still working with a human being and if you think you are going to throw a guy out and he is going to come back stronger, it won't work,” he said.

“So it is great to have him in the group, especially since Johan Goosen is not 100% fit.

“I can already see that he is himself again being back at home." – Sapa

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