Former Springbok assistant coach Dick Muir, says the likes of Manie Libbok, Kurt-Lee Arendse and Canan Moodie can shred defences if they are used correctly.
Former Springbok backline coach Dick Muir says it is vital that the 33-man Bok squad announced today generates momentum over the course of their remaining warm-up games ahead of September’s World Cup.
The Boks play Wales next weekend followed by New Zealand and then it is Scotland on September 10 in the opening round of the World Cup.
The Boks have played four matches this year, winning three of them, but they have only been convincing against Australia, in their first match.
💨 What a performance on the wing!
— Springboks (@Springboks) August 7, 2023
“The performances are fluctuating too much,” Muir said.
“I know that they have been giving players opportunities but you need consistent performances and that has not been happening.
“It is dangerous to assume you can just turn up on the day and be successful. You need to be asking questions every time you play.
“The way the Wallabies were put away in Pretoria should have been followed up with similar performances,” added the former Springbok centre and long-time advocate of attacking rugby.
But Muir says the new strike force at the disposal of coach Jacques Nienaber has the potential to win the World Cup for the Boks.
He says that the likes of Manie Libbok, Kurt-Lee Arendse and Canan Moodie can shred defences if they are used correctly.
Muir, who coached the Sharks to the 2007 Super 14 final, said he hopes the Bok coaching staff will unleash their race horses in France.
“Over the last year or so the Springbok backline suddenly has some fantastic options,” Muir said. “Moodie, Libbok, Arendse have been added to Cheslin Kolbe and Co … The potential is enormous but these guys have to be used correctly. Besides the counter-attack, these guys can create havoc off first phase, too.”
Muir is hopeful that blockbuster centre Andre Esterhuizen makes the cut.
Esterhuizen played well in Buenos Aries last week to add to the impressive performance he enjoyed when he started against the Wallabies.
It is a reality that while he is putting heat on Damian de Allende for the No 12 jersey, he might be left out because of the promotion of Moodie.
“Andre is world class and it would be a pity if they don’t find a place for him,” Muir said. “He offers a physicality at 12 that few other countries can rival.”
Muir said he would play both Pollard and Libbok over the course of a match.
“They offer different strengths. It is a horses-for-courses situation and if you use them wisely you have the best of both worlds,” Muir said. “The question of who partners them at scrumhalf is a big one.
“There are a number of quality options but I am not sure if any one of them (Faf de Klerk, Grant Williams, Jaden Hendrikse, Herschel Jantjies and Cobus Reinach) is the complete article.
“Cobus is a very good all round nine, while Jaden is the most consistent. Faf is the No 1 choice, Grant is a game-breaker with his pace, while I like how Herschel plays in tandem with Manie at the Stormers, so who to leave out is a tough one.”*