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Thu Apr 17 12:13:54 SAST 2014

Meyer can't hide in Perth for ever

LIAM DEL CARME in Perth | 04 September, 2012 06:170 Comments
The Castle Rugby Championship: Springboks field session and media conference in Johannesburg, South Africa
Heyneke Meyer
Image by: Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

THIS West Australian city has provided refuge for many "packing" South Africans but Bok coach Heyneke Meyer knows it is no place to hide.

Meyer needs to restore the confidence of a South African rugby public - a task that is as daunting away as it is at home.

"It is always tough to be the Springbok coach, no matter where you are playing. At some stage you have to go home," he said yesterday.

"I won't say it is easier (being away from the hysteria that was set off by his team's 16-16 draw against the Pumas).

"We knew the three away games were going to be tough. We set high standards and the biggest disappointment is when you disappoint yourself. I take it personally."

The players of course, cop their fair share of flak as well.

Meyer knows that leaving the team that drew in Mendoza unchanged might fan the inferno.

He is unlikely to make a raft of changes but the starting credentials of Juandre Kruger and Ruan Pienaar must have soared since the Mendoza test, as have those of the rookie No8 Duane Vermeulen.

Kruger could come in for Andries Bekker, Vermeulen for Willem Alberts, who will move to No7, while Pienaar could take over from Francois Hougaard, who could shift to left wing in favour of Lwazi Mvovo.

Vermeulen's lack of game time might count against him, but the back row that did service in Mendoza (Marcell Coetzee, Jacques Potgieter and Alberts) did not look like one with long-term prospects.

Should Vermeulen get the nod, Potgieter will sit out.

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Meyer can't hide in Perth for ever

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