Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus explains his selection policy, looking towards the World Cup in Japan next year, reports Rugby365
Flyhalf Robert du Preez was in the crosshairs of the critics, after the Boks 20-22 loss – in a disappointing performance – against Wales last Saturday.
Du Preez had a forgettable debut in the game in the American capital.
A penalty from the Bok flyhalf looked to have given the South Africans victory, but the replacement No.10 then had two consecutive attempted clearance kicks charged down by Tomos Williams and Ryan Elias pounced to win the game.
Erasmus, the new head coach as well as the South African Rugby Union’s Director of Rugby, said it was a “team’ mistake.
However, he admitted that Du Preez will learn from the experience – given that his short stay on the field was forgettable.
It was not just the charged-down kicks.
He conceded a turnover and had three runs for zero metres gained – to add to that double blunder at the end.
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The Bok coach said the loss in Washington will not deter him from trying out young players in the next 18 months.
“One thing we have to understand, we have to make some big calls now, [looking forward] to the World Cup,” Erasmus said – as his team stepped up preparations for the first of three tests against England.
“We have to put guys on trial and see what they have.
“We will make a few mistakes while doing that.
“We can go the old route and just select the same guys, then try to coach them better and hope for different results.
“Or we can throw guys in at the deep end and hope they swim.
“We had 13 new caps [this past] Saturday – some of them swam and some of them struggled a little bit.
“The next game they will be a little bit better.”
He admitted Du Preez was one of the guys who struggled a little.
“The screen, that gives more space for the No.10, wasn’t in place,” the coach said of the match-changing charge down.
“It wasn’t 100 percent his fault, it was more a team mistake.
“He [Du Preez] does feel guilty.
“The only thing he can do is bounce back and rectify it the next time he gets an opportunity.
“He understands that.”
Thanks to @rugby365com