22 Jul 2009

Smit says Boks are the best prepared they've ever been

10:48 am on 22 July 2009

Skipper John Smit says the Springboks have never been as prepared for a Tri-Nations Test as they are heading into the match against New Zealand in Bloemfontein this weekend.

The Boks will be taking on the All Blacks without Morné Steyn, whose boot won the recent Test series against the British and Irish Lions for South Africa.

Bok coach Peter de Villiers has made it clear that Ruan Pienaar will for now be seen as the backline general responsible for helping South Africa to win the Tri-Nations for the first time since 2004.

De Villiers also made it clear that he didn't give his team instructions to only focus all their attention on the All Blacks first five Stephen Donald... he says they'll never target only one player, they'll play according to tactics and if it succeeds, they'll put them under pressure.

Apart from Pienaar, De Villiers has called on all his other heavyweights who were not in the Bok starting team for the third Test against the British and Irish Lions.

The inclusion of JP Pietersen, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Pierre Spies and Bakkies Botha instead of Jongi Nokwe, Wynand Olivier, Odwa Ndungane, Ryan Kankowski and Johann Muller respectively, should strengthen the starting team considerably.

Smit says he thinks they've chosen a strong team that is good enough to compete properly this year and the three tough Tests against the Lions have ensured that their preparations this year have been the best yet for the Tri-Nations.