One week before the clash against Ireland for the head of Group B of the World Cup, South Africa continues its tactical and strategic innovations against Romania on Sunday in Bordeaux (3:00 p.m.), depending on the hard blows and the setbacks.
After the bench of seven forwards at the end of preparation against New Zealand (35-7) which surprised at Twickenham, the use of colored lights in the stands to convey instructions, the Springboks this time placed four scrum halves in the 23 players selected against the Romanians.
“As soon as the list was announced, people wondered why we had taken four scrum-halves. It's all about versatility. On paper, we have four scrum halves but most can play elsewhere,” explained coach Jacques Nienaber, citing Grant Williams and Cobus Reinach recently seen on the wing, or taking the example of Faf De Klerk, replacing Sunday.
“Faf did all his training at fly-half, a position he also held with the Lions in Super Rugby, and at Sale in the Premiership. Without wanting to disrespect Romania, it's a good opportunity for us to test him in ten in a high-stakes match,” continued Nienaber, who only retained Manie Libbok as the official opener, after the injury to the calf of Handré Pollard at the beginning of August.
“We are not taking any risks, everything is calculated,” he repeated. We liked what we saw in training and we know that the players chosen have the qualities to beat Romania”, and if possible largely like the Irish last weekend (82-8).
“The difference in points may count at the end of the group stage. But what matters above all is victory and working on certain technical and tactical points.
The South African week could have taken place without any further hitch than the shoulder injury against Scotland of Eben Etzebeth, absent for two weeks and replaced by Jean Kleyne, born near Johannesburg and became selectable again after participating in the Cup 2019 World Cup in the Irish jersey.
Except that bad luck came to the harbor and put hooker Malcolm Marx out of action for many months, after he injured his knee ligaments “during a freak accident” in training.
At 36, Deon Fourie has worked his way through South Africa and France (Lyon, Grenoble), somewhat behind him, often in the third row, in recent years. Before the call of a possible substitute (Joseph Dweba?), his versatility should be used during the match one week before the clash against Ireland, another final before the letter of this first round after the inaugural France-New Zealand .
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