Lock stocks concern Meyer

Date published: June 29 2015

South Africa head coach Heyneke Meyer admits the cupboard is worrying low on second-row stocks ahead of the fast-approaching Rugby World Cup.

With Lood de Jager and Pieter-Steph du Toit currently injured, only Eben Etzebeth, Victor Matfield and Franco Mostert are the Boks' available locks.

Meyer is also without Andries Bekker (denied leave from his Japanese club) and Flip van der Merwe (unavailable) for the game against a World XV.

"I am worried about number 5 lock and in our system that is probably the most vital guy because he runs all the line-outs," he informed the press on Monday.

"There is a big difference between the number 4 and number 5. We have worked with Lood to move to number 5 but he hasn't played there often enough and especially at Test level."

Meyer added that he hopes that former Stormers second-row Bekker could come into his squad before the World Cup as he keeps his options open, such as possibly calling in experienced Saracens captain Alistair Hargreaves.

"We spoke to one or two other guys. Juandré Kruger is still an option because you need a specialist at number 5 because 40 percent of tries in the world last year came from line-outs," he said.

"If you don't win your lineouts, you don't win your games and I believe Victor sometimes get unfair criticism.

"But whenever he plays, he wins most of his line-outs and the opposition's, and he sometimes put in the most tackles."