Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 22 November 2014

Du Plessis calls for more

Carel du Plessis
Carel du Plessis

Former South Africa coach Carel du Plessis believes the Springboks are not making the most of their strengths during the tour of Great Britain and Ireland.

The world champions have won two out of three games so far - they narrowly beat the Irish in Dublin and also edged out Wales, before being beaten by Scotland last weekend - but Du Plessis feels the team has more to offer.

"They have to change the game plan and play typical Test rugby because one of their main strengths is their ability to carry the ball, thanks to their big forwards," he said.

"But it didn't look as though they wanted to carry the ball last week.

"In the cold and wet northern hemisphere conditions, your tactical kicking has to be good and you need the ball runners like Willem Alberts, Pierre Spies and Juan Smith to get the team on the front foot. The guys have to dominate in every area because it will be a game of attrition."

Du Plessis, who was in charge of the Springboks in 1997 and also played 12 Tests in the 1980s, warned the team against underestimating England at Twickenham on Saturday.

He continued: "If you look at England's game, they are more exciting on attack than in the past, they have a quality pack and their back three is solid.

"So our pack needs to lay a good foundation and protect the ball on attack, so we can create opportunities for guys like Lwazi Mvovo and Gio Aplon. The Boks can get a lot more variation in their game with the calibre of players they have in the squad.

"They also need an A and B plan, so they can vary their game should the conditions require a change in plan.

"As things stand, I would use Willem more because you could see in the last few weeks that he is effective on attack, he likes to carry the ball and he doesn't lose it much."

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