Bok's warning ahead of B&I Lions series
SPOTLIGHT: Springbok lock Franco Mostert predicted a very intense and physical second row battle against the ‘world-class’ British and Irish Lions.
The Boks look very strong when it comes to their lock stocks. However, Jacques Nienaber and selectors are still facing a nervy wait in regards to some of their options.
Lodewyk de Jager (Sale Sharks) and Rudolph Snyman (Munster) are both in a race against time for the upcoming British and Irish Lions series.
De Jager is currently out of action after fracturing his tibia and suffering a torn meniscus, while Snyman is in the final stages of his rehabilitation after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament last August.
Mostert and Eben Etzebeth are the other two locks who were part of that World Cup success.
Etzebeth and De Jager were the starting locks against England, while Mostert and Snyman were on the bench.
Aside from the World Cup final quartet, Marvin Orie, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Jean-Luc du Preez and Rynardt Elstadt are the other options to fill the position.
The Boks will have to be in fine form, given the British and Irish Lions’ talent in this area.
Welsh captain Alun Wyn Jones and Maro Itoje of England are certain starters for the Lions.
Ireland’s Tadhg Beirne and Iain Henderson, and the English duo of Jonny Hill and Courtney Lawes make up the rest of the second-row department selected by Warren Gatland.
“Guys like Alun Wyn Jones and Maro Itoje are world-class players,” Mostert told reporters from Bloemfontein.
“The guys selected by the British & Irish Lions coaches are the best in United Kingdon and Ireland, so I think it is going to be an amazing tour and an amazing couple of games ahead.”
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Mostert is no stranger to the likes of Itoje and Lawes.
Aside from facing them during the World Cup final between England and South Africa, the lock also has experience of playing against them while at Premiership side Gloucester.
“From my Premiership and World Cup experience, I think they [the forwards like Lawes and Itoje] will want to bully us physically and try to take us out of our structure.
“They will definitely try to take us on in the front, but hopefully we can do our job and do our best so that we can execute our plan successfully.”
Commenting on the injuries concerns, Mostert said: “RG [Snyman] and Lood [de Jager] are working very hard to get back to full fitness.
“Eben is back so there is no pressure on me.”
He added: “I think we keep each other on our toes and hopefully they are ready for the warm-up games against Georgia.”
The Boks face Georgia in back-to-back Tests before taking on the British & Irish Lions in the three-Test series in July and August.