Handre Pollard will be key to the Springboks success in Japan. Photo: Jan Touzea/EPA
The Springboks may have depth in numbers but former World Cup winner Victor Matfield believes the possible loss of Handre Pollard could spell the end of the Boks’ campaign.

“We have a lot of depth in all positions, the one area (of concern) is probably if Handre gets injured,” Matfield said at an Investec breakfast.

“Elton Jantjies is a very capable player but he hasn’t played a lot of Tests where we were very successful. I think the rest of the players take a lot of confidence out of it when Handre is there. He is probably the key guy for us not to lose; if we lose him, Elton can step in, and Francois Steyn can step in, but Handre is the one player we need on the park.”

Matfield said he hoped Steyn would earn more game time before the business end of the tournament.

He believes Steyn’s versatility could provide coach Rassie Erasmus with some flexibility, whether it is at first receiver or elsewhere.

“I am glad Rassie gave him that 30 minutes against Japan and hopefully he will also give him a start against a team like Namibia.

“We know he is fine to come in at 12 or 15, but at 10 you need to spend time there. He (Steyn) probably trains there quite a bit, but that is not the same.”

Matfield believes the Boks have the potential to raise the Webb Ellis Cup for the third time thanks to their depth and momentum.

“We have a great team, and I think the guys can do well.”


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