Springbok boss Heyneke Meyer has opened up on the decision to leave out Pieter-Steph Du Toit from the squad against Scotland.
South Africa head coach Heyneke Meyer has opened up on the decision to leave out Pieter-Steph Du Toit from the squad against Scotland.
The 21-year-old from the Sharks won his first cap off the bench against Wales last weekend, but has been left out of the 23 to play at Murrayfield.
Bakkies Botha will start in a match for his country for the first time in nearly two years, partnering Flip van der Merwe with Eben Etzebeth on the bench.
That leaves no room for Du Toit, with Meyer explaining that he didn't want to pick an inexperienced pairing in the second row.
“It was a big decision not to include Pieter-Steph because I'd like to give him as much playing time as possible,” said Meyer.
“If I picked Pieter-Steph alongside Bakkies then we would effectively have two newcomers. I also felt I needed an experienced player who could replace Bakkies later in the game.
“Flip recently started as number five lock and is playing with a lot of confidence. It was therefore an easy decision to pick these three (Botha, Van der Merwe and Etzebeth).”
Meyer added that the 34-year-old Botha, who currently plays in France with Toulon, was in excellent shape.
“I've coached Bakkies for years now and have seldom seen him look this good,” added Meyer.
“He's lost a lot of weight, is fit and movable, and wins lineout balls. I first want to see if he's still good enough to play for South Africa. We want to see what he can do.
“He's brought some fresh vibes to the squad and he's been really good in training.
“You need five very good locks to walk the road to the World Cup tournament. It's an area where South Africa lost a few good players.”