Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has heaped praise on Jasper Wiese and has said that the eighthman will have an important role to play for the Boks going forward.
Wiese started the final two Test of the Lions Series but produced his most complete performance on Saturday against the Pumas, earning the man of the match award.
It was a coming of age display for the big eighthman, whose domestic form for the Leicester Tigers was so exceptional the Bok coaches felt he ‘couldn’t be ignored’.
With the return of Duane Vermeulen now nearing, Nienaber has indicated that there may be a selection headache for the coaching side, and that both players would have a critical role to play going forward.
“It’s a long season, we’re now only a third of the way through the Tests we’re going to play this year. Duane will fulfil a role for us, Jasper is currently fulfilling a role for us.
“We will have to think outside of the box in terms of how we keep our player fresh; but our strategic goals won’t ever change. We player for our country so the first strategic goal is to win. Our second one is to build depth in our squad.”
Elaborating on those objectives, Nienaber said that whilst it is important for the Boks to defend their Rugby Championship title, they already have one eye on the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
“Of course we want to defend our Rugby Championship, but we spoke in the team meeting before the game that this is now our chance to start building towards 2023.
“So first priority to is to defend our title, but within that we are looking to build strategically towards the World Cup. It’s important to remember that it’s a balancing act between those two objectives.”
After coming away 32-12 victors in the first Test, the Boks will face Argentina for a second time next weekend before commencing on the Australasian leg of the competition.