Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
30 Sep 2014
1:29 pm

With or without Duane, Boks are ready

Rudolph Jacobs

Whether they are with Duane Vermeulen or without him, the Boks will perform against the All Blacks this weekend. "Whoever represent the Boks on that day is the best in their position," said Bok forward coach Johann van Graan earlier today.

FILE PICTURE: Duane Vermeulen throws the ball during a South Africa Springboks captain's run at Suncorp Stadium on September 6, 2013 in Brisbane, Australia. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

“Whoever gets selected on Saturday will make a big difference. ” I thought all the loose forwards last Saturday were very good, so whoever Heyneke Meyer selects, we have our plan in place. We’ll be working hard on it this week, they’ll perform on Saturday and I can’t wait to see the guys play.” The Boks have also made massive steps at the breakdown, said Van Graan. “The breakdown went down pretty well, we ended up on 93.4% on our ball, over 150 breakdowns.

Pretty happy and also satisfied with our ball carriers as well,” he said. “Thought the referee handed it exceptionally well.” And even though the jury is still out on Vermeulen’s rib injury, Van Graan said the team they will deal with whatever situation. “I haven’t seen Duane this morning, I think he is getting better day by day, and hopefully he’ll be better by Saturday. But a final call will only be made later in the week,” he said. “I think in the last three years we have improved in every area of our game, where it comes to the breakdown it’s time spend together, a lot of credit must go to (breakdown consultant) Richie Grey, and a lot of credit to the players, they are the guys who put their bodies on the line, and work every session on it. It’s a continuous thing and not something you fix in one day.”