‘We’ve grown our strength in depth’

Bok coach Heyneke Meyer says he is happy with the depth of his squad as he prepares for the Rugby Championship.

Having suffered a number of injuries prior to the June Tests, the matches against Wales and Scotland provided Meyer with the opportunity to evaluate the credentials of some of his fringe players in the cauldron of Test rugby. 

'With all the locks out injured, it was great to see Lood came through. We have close to 30 guys out, so it will be difficult to pick a squad once all of them are fit again,' said Meyer after closing out the series with a 55-6 win over Scotland.

'Handré is already a matured player and he combined well with Jan Serfontein today. They are pressuring the first-choice players and a lot of the new guys will be contenders for the Rugby Championship, where I can only pick a squad of 30.'

One area of concern for the coach was the injury to Fourie du Preez, who suffered an ankle injury and was replaced during the first half of the win over Scotland by Francois Hougaard.

'We hope the injury will not prevent him from playing in the Rugby Championship. He will undergo a scan as soon as possible to determine the extent of his injury. His control of the game is important to us for the Rugby Championship.'

However, Meyer was pleased with his team's showing against the Scots, particularly on defence.

'One thing that stands out for me was us not conceding tries. We kept the Scots out for those last minutes when other teams would have leaked a try. Our defence was awesome, but we also played very well on attack.'

The match concluded a three-Test series in which the Springboks managed to score 17 tries, while conceding just four. While they are likely to face much sterner opposition against the likes of Australia and New Zealand during the Rugby Championship, the lessons they learned during this tour, especially in the narrow victory over Wales, will stand them in good stead for the matches to come.

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