Boks to work on aerial game

Date published: July 6 2015

Springbok assistant coach Ricardo Loubscher has revealed the team will work hard to improve their aerial game ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

Loubscher believes the South Africans need to better their skills in that department as they struggled against Wales in the end of year international in Cardiff.

"Our aerial game is one of the areas we felt we need to make a step up, especially after that Wales game when we conceded a lot of turnovers," he said. "They kicked on us and we made all the mistakes, and they capitalised on that." 

He mentioned that the Boks are an attacking side that needs to keep ball in hand before stressing it was important to start each game well and get their combinations working.

However it's still uncertain who the centre combination will be for the Springboks as he says that Damian de Allende's versatility will be a great asset for the Boks if he can carry his Stormers form into international rugby.

"Damian had a brilliant Super Rugby season and hopefully he can carry that over into international rugby," Loubscher said at a Bok press conference in Cape Town on Monday.

He added that he has been spending time with De Allende on the small details of his game. 

"Over the last year we've had time to work with him on all the small details, the one percenters. I've been very impressed with his form this year. He's versatile – he can play at 12, 13 or wing – he's showed for the Stormers he can play anywhere and that's hopefully a skill-set we can use," Loubscher said.

Although De Allende has shown form throughout Super Rugby he still needs to work on his defence as he missed the most tackles in the South African conference with 32.

While Jean de Villiers is set to wear 12, there is still some uncertainty about who is the best candidate to wear the number 13 jersey. Loubscher casually joked that Schalk Brits will be available at outside centre. 

"But no, seriously, we have guys like Lionel Mapoe, Damian, and then there's Jean de Villiers coming back. They're all looking in good nick, we just need to get all the guys on the same page and ensure they see the same picture."