The Springboks take on Wales in the second rugby test of the incoming series in Bloemfontein on Saturday, with a vastly different looking side than the one that won the first test in Pretoria a week ago.
It’s a bold move by the Boks but their argument is that they need to get as many members of their squad up to test rugby level at the start of the international season.
Wales may well feel slighted by this move and could offer a swift response on the field of play, The Boks narrowly beat them last weekend. Backline coach Mzwandile Stick emphasised the balanced nature of the squad.
“We don’t have A B team we have selected a strong team that will be able to perform tomorrow and we know that we stand a chance to win the game. The balance is the key we have a good balance. We have guys that won the world cup for us we have a guy like Eben with 98 caps. We have Handre Pollard who has been around, we have Jesse Kriel who is waiting for his opportunity so it is very important for us as coaches to give other guys opportunities and there must also be a good balance between the youth and the experienced guys.”
With only four players remaining from last weekend’s series-opening victory against the Welsh, match day 23 will have six possible debutants.
The Boks are adamant that this is all accounted for and that the team to take to the field in Bloemfontein on Saturday is another strong side, much like last weekend’s side.
Captain Handre Pollard explains that this particular Bok iteration has been training together for two weeks.
“Last week Monday we already knew this was going to be the plan so we trained together last week as a team preparing the guys for last week’s test match so this has been our second week in the last two weeks. There is a lot more cohesion in the squad of course there is going to be a disconnection in the squad sometimes with guys coming together from all over the world but we are prepared for that. We are going to be bold in the way we play we are going to make mistakes but we are going to have the guys’ backs, we have to trust each other’s skill sets. We are well aligned and ready for it.”