JP in doubt
November 19, 2012, 16:13:13
JP Pietersen has sustained a groin strain that threatens to rule him out of Saturday’s Test against England. (Can you believe it!!!)
The experienced winger sustained the injury at Murrayfield on Saturday and will be carefully managed this week before a call is made on him. He won’t train on Monday and team doctor Craig Roberts refused to speculate on his potential availability.
The squad is laden with left wings, but Meyer says he has enough quality in reserve to cover on the right. ‘JP is obviously a quality player who we hope we’ll have available, but there are options. Lionel Mapoe can play there, Jaco Taute has covered there for the Lions, and he could be good especially with their kicking game. That would be a bold selection, but we’ll see.’
Skipper Jean de Villiers has recovered from the flu, which he hadn’t shaken entirely before the Scotland Test. Roberts added that there are ‘one or two bumps and bruises’ that were in keeping with a physically demanding Test.
Meyer indicated that he was unlikely to make any other changes to the starting line-up that ran on against Scotland, saying: ‘Its important to get some continuity, especially since we’ve seldom had that luxury. The All Blacks can do that because they’ve built the depth over four or more years. But I want to give the guys confidence and keep a relatively settled side.’
It remains to be seen whether Meyer reinstalls Taute to outside centre at the expense of Juan de Jongh. He spoke glowingly of England’s hard-running Manu Tuilag, and may be tempted to counter his attacking and defensive threat with the considerably bigger Taute.
He also lamented the number of scrum penalties they conceded against Scotland, and could well be tempted to make alterations to either of his props.
Agreed those are about the only question marks other than Taute at 15. Wonder who will replace JP. Rhule off the bench could be a bold move as a impact player.