Jacques Nienaber said he is anticipating “200 breakdowns” after being questioned about deploying Deon Fourie and Marco van Staden at hooker in the World Cup clash with Tonga.
Nienaber surprisingly excluded Bongi Mbonambi from the Boks’ matchday-23 when naming the side for the crucial Pool B match in Marseille on Sunday.
Mbonambi has been left as the only fit specialist hooker in South Africa’s squad after Malcolm Marx was forced to withdraw from the World Cup due to a knee injury.
Loose forwards Fourie and Van Staden have been training as emergency backups and will get an opportunity to prove themselves as hookers in Mbonambi’s absence.
“For them to drive our set-piece – scrums, lineouts – within our system,” Nienaber said when asked what he expects from the utility hookers.
“There will be challenges within those systems and then they, as the set-piece leaders, will drive certain set-pieces for us, so in scrum time if things aren’t going our way, [they need] to find solutions.
“The coaches, Deon [Davids] and Daan [Human] have put something in place that they think will be good enough to get the better of Tonga in those departments,” Nienaber added. “If those plans or structures don’t work, they’ll have to find solutions.
“The other thing is they must just bring their normal game. There’s going to be 200 breakdowns in this game, and there they have to apply themselves.”
Photo: JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP