Planet Rugby

Meyer happy with Bok leadership

17th June 2013 19:36

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Adriaan Strauss Heyneke Meyer Jean de Villiers

Adriaan Strauss: Back up skipper

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is confident his team will have strong leadership if skipper Jean de Villiers is unable to play against Samoa on Saturday.

De Villiers is a doubtful starter after picking up a shoulder injury in last weekend's hard-fought victory over Scotland. The Stormers centre sustained the injury early on in the game but soldiered on, even though he "should have come off" according to the Bok coach, who hailed the captain as a "warrior."

The Boks are unlikely to risk de Villiers this weekend but Meyer is not losing any sleep over finding a replacement captain.

"A year in rugby is a very long time. This time last year I was worried about the leadership situation. A lot of our leaders had moved on, quality leaders, a lot of the best guys who have ever been involved with South African rugby," said Meyer in Pretoria on Monday.

"But now we have a lot of guys who are putting up their hands, like Adriaan Strauss, I've got a lot of confidence in him. Bismarck (du Plessis) can lead, Pierre (Spies) as well and Bryan (Habana) is taking a lot of the lead from the senior players as well. Francois Louw has been the captain of Bath, he's a quality player and a leader.

"Morne (Steyn) has come to the fore as well now that he is more experienced so I'm very happy with the leadership.

"I've said from the start, you can't have one captain playing every game. Then suddenly you get an injury in the World Cup and you don't have someone to fall back on.

"I've always been looking to give someone else a chance but knowing South Africa, you must win every game and there are no easy Test matches, like last Saturday proved and the next one is also going to be tough."

By Ross Hastie in Pretoria

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