Scotland Strengthen To Brace for “Ambitious” Bok Challenge

EDINBURGH – Scotland strengthened their side on Wednesday as their coach, George Townsend, made six changes to his starting line-up to take on South Africa in their test at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Scotland’s Ryan Wilson in action Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

The changes include Huw Jones, who played club rugby in Cape Town for four years, coming in as a replacement in the backline.

“We expect (South Africa) to be confrontational and powerful in their ball carrying, their defence and also at set-piece time,” said Townsend.

“Their traditional strength has always been their physicality and this remains a key point of difference for them. It will be a great challenge for our forward pack in particular.

“South Africa has always had a smart kicking game with an excellent chase but what we’ve seen over the past few months is an ambition to move the ball from counter-attack and a push to get their forwards passing the ball more.

“Our defence will have to be strong to nullify this ambitious attacking game plan,” he added.

South Africa beat France in Paris over the weekend in a nail-biting match won in the final minutes.

Springbok Pieter-Steph du Toit. Source: SARugby

Springbok Pieter-Steph du Toit spoke today about how much he’s enjoying his “Bok dream”.

“As kid, I always dreamt of playing for the Springboks, so it’s really a dream that comes true each and every time I run out for the Boks.” Du Toit’s grandfather Piet – also known as “Piet Spiere” – also played for the Springboks.

Du Toit’s versatility means he’s an excellent option as a lock or on the side of the scrum. He says: “While I have my favourite position, which is blindside flank, because I can get my hands on the ball a bit more, it doesn’t bother me at all which number I have on my shirt – I am happy as long as I can play for the Boks.”

After two difficult years, the Springboks are nowadays a rejuvenated side and the team’s forward pack is once more regarded as a feared combination, as evidenced by Townsend’s words.

The match will kick off at 7.20pm SA time at Murrayfield on Saturday.

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson/Reuters and SARugby)