Muir: Boks still looking for improvement
September 28, 2011
Springbok backs coach Dick Muir has said the squad is not complacent and is always looking for the ultimate game © Getty Images
South Africa assistant coach Dick Muir insists there is no chance of his side taking Samoa lightly ahead of their crucial Rugby World Cup showdown in North Harbour on Friday night.
The unbeaten Springboks currently lead the race for the quarter-finals at the top of Pool D but could still be eliminated if results do not go their way this weekend - a fact not lost on Muir who insists his charges are out to raise the bar.
"We are looking for constant improvement, there are lots of areas in our game which we are still not happy with," he commented ahead of the game. "We are always looking for that ultimate game, but overall we are looking for improvement in quite a few areas."
Muir stressed that at this stage only the All Blacks were certain qualifiers. "This is really an important game for us, so you could see it as a knockout game."
This week Bakkies Botha was the only player not considered for selection because of injury. Muir said selecting Frans Steyn ahead of Jean de Villiers at centre was reward for what he had brought to the side and that De Villiers would have his chance to win back his position. "You give another guy a gap and he takes it and you have to fight your way back in. We know Jean is a very special player and he will get an opportunity to prove that."
Muir was also pleased with the reinforcements at his disposal and revealed that much like De Villiers, who is desperate to win back his starting jersey, Butch James was also hoping for a chance to impress.
"He [James] is one of those players who doesn't get flustered with the bigger moments and he has been training hard. The fortunate thing with Butch is that he has a World Cup winning medal around his neck. He played at fly-half and has a huge amount of experience,"said Muir.
Currently occupying the fly-half berth is Morné Steyn who is the the tournament's most accurate goal-kicker with an 85 percent success rate, having converted 17 from his 20 attempts at goal.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league
So much for the great Australian revival, writes Greg Growden. It now has the potential of going off the rails after the capitulation at Eden Park
The latest Week in Pictures takes in photographs from the Rugby Championship, the Top 14 and the southern hemisphere domestic scene