Home Sport Salmaan Moerat might get a run against Italy, says Springboks’ Deon Davids

Salmaan Moerat might get a run against Italy, says Springboks’ Deon Davids

Salmaan Moerat might get a run against Italy, says Springboks’ Deon Davids

Durban — As the international rugby year begins to wind down, the Springboks’ record is not looking too flash — five of their last 10 matches have been lost — but assistant coach Deon Davids is adamant his team is on track.

“We play to win every Test match,” Davids said from Genoa where the Boks play Italy on Saturday (3pm kick-off). “If you look at the effort from the players in the last two games, there was always a drive to get a positive result.

“Our approach for Italy and England will be exactly the same, no matter who wears the jersey. We will go into these games to win them.”

The dilemma facing the Bok coaching staff is that the Italy game was always going to be the one where some key players needed to be rested — the likes of Eben Etzebeth and Siya Kolisi — before the grand finale against England next weekend, but the Boks are winless on tour and can’t gamble too much against an in-form Italy team.

But next to Davids at the press conference was Salmaan Moerat, and Davids pretty much said that there will be new faces in the team.

“We have got a lot of answers in the past couple of games, both from selection and players’ point of view. We will continue with that specific process.

“For example, Salmaan’s presence is an indication that he will be taking part, whether he is part of the starting line-up or on the bench. This is part of our vision for the World Cup. We have great belief in the players, but also have lots of respect for Italy. We want to continue seeking answers but want better rewards against Italy.”

And Davids said that if the Boks don’t have the correct mindset on Saturday, they will lose.

“Italy are very well coached and have good systems in place,” Davids said Monday. “They have come a long way since appointing the Benetton coaches.

“And they are getting good rewards in Test rugby — beating Wales away is never easy, they have just beaten Australia and they beat us in 2016.

“We have to pitch up with the right mindset and the right attitude because this is a team on an upward trajectory in terms of their performance, and we expect a very competitive game from them. Their intensity against Australia was very impressive.

“They have a very physical pack of forwards and we are going to be challenged in the scrums and line-outs,” Davids warned. “We have to prepare for that and have a good plan in place if we are going to get the reward.”

The Boks have played Italy twice since that 2016 defeat, winning 35-6 in 2017 and demolishing them 49-3 in a World Cup pool game in 2019, but the Boks will never again be complacent against Italy.

@MikeGreenaway67

IOL Sport

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