Meyer weighs options for June tour

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IOL pic apr26 rugby heyneke meyer Independent Newspapers Coach Heyneke Meyer (foreground) has hinted that he might choose a younger Springbok team for the June tour matches. Photo: Sizwe Ndingane

Pretoria - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer says he might select an inexperienced side for the England tour in June.

Meyer was speaking at the second four-day Springbok planning camp in Pretoria on Wednesday, where players from the Bulls and Sharks assembled this week as part of preparations before the three-Test series.

He said injuries to key players have forced him to rethink his plans for the Springbok team.

“I must say when I started the team that I thought probably would start, and I've said I would give everyone a fair chance, has changed a lot,” Meyer said.

“Like I said, I thought it would be an experienced side just to get us going and get the continuity because the guys know a lot of the stuff and lead the youngsters.”

“But it's changed a lot and I think we'll go for a younger team than I expected to go with.”

The camps, planned in accordance with the franchises' bye weekends during the Super Rugby competition, focused on theoretical planning and a few field sessions.

The second planning camp saw 45 players from the Bulls and the Sharks taking part in the sessions.

Meyer also felt he made the right decision to leave the announcement of his captain close to the first Test in Durban on June 9.

“Obviously I am looking at the captains of the five franchises and a few senior guys, but there are a few injuries,” he said.

“I am actually quite happy that I didn’t announce the captain because I probably would have been in trouble.”

“I think it is probably the right thing to wait until the first Test match.”

Meyer said the crop of captains at the franchises had all the right attributes which could see any one of them getting the Bok captaincy.

“I think it just broadens my spectrum even if you only have one captain,” Meyer said.

“I believe going further there will be so many injuries... You need at least five good leaders and at least three guys that could be captain.”

Meyer said the problem he also wrestled with was that many of the franchise captains were loose forwards and his captain would not necessarily only be picked by virtue of his leadership skills.

“The problem is that a lot of those guys are loose forwards and the competition among the loose forwards is very high, and at hooker I think we probably have the four best hookers in the world,” he said.

“So it is very difficult to pick a guy on captaincy alone, I need to look at experience and everything.

“I think there are more options but with all the injuries it’s going to be a tough choice to pick the captain.” - Sapa


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