Boks to make tough prop selection

Bok scrum coach Pieter de Villiers says they are looking at taking five props to the World Cup, writes CRAIG LEWIS in Durban.

The general assumption was that six props would be included in the 31-man squad, but De Villiers suggested it's more probable that only five would make the cut, with the likelihood that three hookers will feature in the final group.

‘For us the choice was between taking five or six [props], but it’s looking more likely to be five. It will obviously be a challenge to make that selection, we’ve had a lot of props coming through. That’s the nice part, but also the most difficult part, we’ve had a lot of guys knocking on the door.

'It will ultimately be up to Heyneke [Meyer] to decide where he needs more depth, and how quickly it would be possible to get a player in [if there was an injury]. He’s looking at those options, but I think it is possible. It is a balancing act, but we are very fortunate to have good depth with our props.’

While Beast Mtawarira and Jannie du Plessis are established as the first-choice props, Trevor Nyakane, Steven Kitshoff, Marcel van der Merwe, Frans Malhere, Vincent Koch, Heinke van der Merwe and Coenie Oosthuizen all add to the back-up options.

Should five props be included in the 31-man squad, a player with the ability to play at either loosehead or tighthead would possess important utility value.

‘That would be important, but then again, if there’s an injury you can bring in someone. So it’s not that much of a factor,' De Villiers commented.

Should three hookers be included, the likelihood is that versatile Schalk Brits will join Bismarck du Plessis and Adriaan Strauss in the final squad.

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

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