South African Rugby

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Stirling thoughts on the game

Stirling Mortlock expects an under-strength South African side to be tough nuts.

Jake White has rested the majority of his main players for the Tri-Nations matches in Australia and New Zealand to prevent any serious injuries ahead of the World Cup in September.

Ruan Pienaar and JP Pietersen are the only players backing up from the Springboks side that downed Australia in Cape Town, and White has been widely criticised for the tactic and caused a debate within Sanzar about the future of SA in the Tri-nations.

Despite the lack of experience Mortlock said the Springboks would have plenty to play

"A lot of their guys have been selected to show their wares at this level and push forward to make the 30-man squad for the World Cup," he said.

"They've got nothing to lose. From our end there has been a little bit of an unsettled preparation this week.

"It's really important from our perspective that we go out there and put on a really polished performance and send out two of our stalwarts in their last home match in fitting fashion."

Mortlock said the Wallabies would have their work cut out containing the "massive" South African forward pack which should concern them what with their scrum not at their best.

" this one in particular is the biggest and most confronting forward pack that we've faced in a number of years, so there's no doubt they'll be trying to utilise that to their advantage."

Captain Bobby Skinstad, who last played for the Springboks in 2003, said his side would be looking to send a message to the Wallabies two months out from the World Cup,This must be strange for Skinstad to go from being on Sky Sports as a comentator to now captaining the team.

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