Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Boks to address kicking concerns, De Jager out of France Test

'The goal-kicking is something that we have looked at and spoken about and we will be making a decision in terms of that and how we are going to address it.'

The Springboks will address the flyhalf and goal kicking concerns that cropped up during their tight 19-16 defeat against Ireland in Dublin over the past weekend, ahead of this coming Saturday’s game against France in Marseille.

Flyhalf Damian Willemse and fullback Cheslin Kolbe both missed important shots at goal that among other things contributed to the defeat, but assistant coach Deon Davids admitted that it was something that the team management had since gone over.

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“We have discussed the whole goal kicking situation as part of our general review. It’s something that we have looked at and spoken about and we will be making a decision in terms of that and how we are going to address it,” said Davids during a press conference on Monday.

“I think our head coach will give a bit more info on that tomorrow (at the team announcement press conference).”

Lood injured

Davids also confirmed that lock Lood de Jager would be unavailable for selection for the coming weekend’s match, however the extent of the shoulder injury he picked up over the past weekend had still not been ascertained.

“At this time we don’t have a possible timeline on his return to the squad. He left this morning for further consultations and as soon as we have been informed of the extent of the injury we will announce it,” said Davids.

“We know that Lood is a quality player and any team losing a player like him would feel that loss. Luckily we have got experienced campaigners in Franco Mostert and Marvin Orie, who are familiar with Test rugby, to slot in.

“So it’s their opportunity now. It is a void we have to fill and we feel that those two guys are quite capable of doing that.”

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The Boks have also gone over a number of areas of their game that went wrong against Ireland and they will be aiming to address those short comings during the week, so that they can try and rectify that against France.

“We have had a good review on our set pieces because we had mixed results in terms of that. There were situations where we built a good platform and there were also situations where we could have improved and we have discussed the reasons behind that,” said Davids.

“We created a lot of opportunities, but in some cases our decision making let us down in terms of executing that properly and those are the things that we want to correct going into this weekend.”

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