Springbok coach, Peter de Villiers, says South Africa currently has tremendous depth in every position and it was a difficult task to select the side to face the All Blacks for the Tri-Nations encounter at Eden Park on Saturday.
Adnaan Mohamed – Sport24
“I think the circumstances that we find ourselves in have necessitated this kind of selection,” De Villiers said at the Springbok hotel in Auckland on Thursday.
“We expect a soft field because it’s a little bit wet here. We have gone for stability more than anything else and if you look at the guys that we chose then these are the guys that brought the stability in the Super 14. We are confident that the team we selected will be up for the challenge,” he explained
The Bok coach has preferred the experience of Jean de Villiers on the right wing and Wynand Olivier at inside centre at the expense of exciting young talents like Gio Aplon and Juan de Jongh. The Stormers-duo has performed with distinction at test level since they made their Bok debuts against Wales.
Aplon has been included on the bench, while De Jongh has been left out of the match 22 altogether.
“Gio has a great future ahead of him. I think we shouldn’t push these guys to quick. The experience that they gained with the four tests that they played thus far will be invaluable for them in the future. But if you don’t manage them properly we might stand the chance to lose them,” he explained.
The last time the Boks managed to beat the All Blacks was in 1937, but De Villiers says they don’t pay much attention to statistics and milestones.
“Well sometimes we put a lot of emphasis on gimmicks, like the field, like the weather and the ref. I think we should rather concentrate on what we do best and hope that we can the result on the day,” he added.