South Africa Rugby
Meyer hints at youthful Boks squad
April 26, 2012
Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer is prepared to wait before naming his captain for the forthcoming series against England © Getty Images
South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer has revealed he may name a youthful squad to face England later this year.
Meyer, who took charge of the Springboks earlier this year, had envisaged fielding an experienced group to tackle England in a three-Test series in June but injuries to key personnel - including captaincy candidate Schalk Burger - have forced a re-think.
Speaking at his second planning camp on Wednesday, Meyer said: "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.
"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."
Meyer's hand has also been forced by the failure to secure the release of Fourie du Preez and Danie Rossouw from their Japanese clubs and Jaque Fourie's decision to step down from the international stage for the next two years.
However, Meyer insisted he was not about to throw caution to the wind and the side will still retain a balance between youth and experience. "You have a guy like [Stormers lock Eben] Etsebeth that is playing great rugby, but you can't play 10 of those guys in a Test," he said. "A guy like Marcel Coetzee of the Sharks is playing great rugby, as are the Stormers youngsters, but you can't throw everyone to the Wolves."
Meyer is also in no rush to appoint a captain and is relieved he did not appoint a skipper too far ahead of the opening clash with England 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."
He added: "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."
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