Workhorse Mostert is no stranger to Pieter-Steph's role
SPOTLIGHT: Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber says he is confident Franco Mostert will excel in the No.7 role in the third Test against the British and Irish Lions on Saturday.
Mostert moves from lock to the side of the scrum after Pieter-Steph du Toit was ruled out of the match due to a shoulder injury.
Lood de Jager takes Mostert’s place in the second row, which means the Boks enter the match with no specialist lock on the bench.
“It is always big losing a guy like Pieter-Steph,” Nienaber told reporters during an online press conference on Tuesday.
“He is so accustomed to the role he has to play at seven. But in saying that, Franco has covered us there before.
“He is always a guy in preparations in the week who has to know both roles.
“I am confident in him and as you could see over the weekend [in the second Test] we had no issue moving him there.”
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Nienaber confirmed that Du Toit will be seeing a specialist this week.
“We will probably have more clarity [on Du Toit’s injury] at the end of the week.
“Let’s hope it is not too serious, but he is not a guy who normally comes off,” the coach added.
Spotlight on Reinach
Another big change to the team sees Cobus Reinach comes in for Faf de Klerk, who has been ruled out due to a muscle strain in his leg.
De Klerk is set to be out of action for three to five weeks.
Reinach was not in the Boks’ matchday squads for the first two Tests.
“We felt that within our set-up, Cobus and Faf’s style of play and their skill sets they bring to our team are similar.
“Herschel [Jantjies] is a little bit different. For us going forward in this Test match we felt that it is a like-for-like change in terms of bringing Cobus in and Herschel who can always bring that intensity like he always does off the bench,” Nienaber explained.
Meanwhile, Nienaber also provided an update on Duan Vermeulen, who joined the Bok squad this week.
“Duane is in a process of returning to play. The first phase is a return to training.
“He obviously went through his rehab and has returned to training and I must say the guys who are in charge of his rehab did a wonderful job.
“We just got him into our mix and he started working with us and he was part of our training yesterday [Monday]. As I said, we will not play him if he is not ready.
“He hasn’t been in the environment in a while, so he has got to get back up to speed with how we do things and he has to be medically fit and fit in terms of his conditioning,” said Nienaber.
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