Jake White says Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus should be commended for implementing his split-squad plan in the Rugby Championship.
Erasmus sent a group of 14 first-choice players to New Zealand to prepare for the Test against the All Blacks in Wellington this coming weekend ahead of Boks’ opening Test at Ellis Park last Saturday.
But with several fringe players in the Boks’ lineup game against the Wallabies, Erasmus’ side still pulled off a 35-17 bonus-point victory.
In a column for AllOutRugby,World Cup-winning coach White writes:
‘In New Zealand, when they send a second-rate team to Argentina it’s seen as visionary; in SA, it’s seen as panic and a guarantee that we’re not going to win either match. Rassie must be applauded for a very clever idea because it puts pressure on the number one team in the world.
‘This All Blacks group was born out of a brainstorming session after the 2007 Rugby World Cup. They haven’t really been tested as a group, but now we’re in position to test them, and that’s why this is so exciting.
‘The Boks can only gain from what they’re doing now. Instead of thinking about what will happen if the Boks lose in Wellington, we should appreciate that we’ve got New Zealand taking us so seriously they decided to leave players out of the match against Argentina – that’s already a win for us and it shows we’re in a position of strength.
‘If the Boks pull it off this weekend, they will ramp up the pressure on the All Blacks, and New Zealand will have to respond.’
Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images