Davids defends Bok players after Laurie's scathing critique
REACTION: Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids has defended his players after comments made by former All Blacks coach Laurie Mains dominated headlines on Monday.
Mains, who coached the All Blacks between 1992 and 1995, said certain players in the current Bok squad should not be playing Test rugby.
“I think there are four or five players in that team that simply are not up to Test level, and I think you’ll see that the All Blacks’ three-quarters will run riot against them,” Mains told Stuff.
When Mains’ comments were brought up in a Bok media briefing on Monday, Davids responded: “Unfortunately I didn’t read the article. But I can ensure you that the players that we have in our camp are here on merit after a thorough selection process according to criteria that we as coaches identified.
“Coaches have different philosophies and different ideas about players. It was always there, and it will still be there in the future.
“That is the opinion of one man, so I think he [Mains] has got the right to his opinion, but that is not my opinion.”
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) September 20, 2021
Another talking point in the press conference was the Springboks’ defence.
The Boks missed 21 tackles in their 26-28 loss to the Wallabies in Round Three. They also missed 19 tackles in their 17-30 loss to the same opponents in Round Four.
“You got to look objectively in terms of when the tackles were made, where it was made and why it happened,” Davids explained.
“We always look whether it was a system error and we always assess whether it was a technical error or whether it is just effort.
“Sometimes in games it happens that you lose a player to a yellow card and that also puts pressure on your system.
“At this point, we are looking at that [defence].
“I think there is understanding in terms of what we can do better. I think we also understand the threats that the All Blacks will bring.
“It is important for us as a team to ensure that from a system, individual and from an effort perspective that we are on par and we can put up a better [defensive] performance according to our standards.”