Diamond Fields Advertiser - - SPORT - MIKE GREENAWAY IN DUR­BAN

RE­TAIN The Beast. Don’t change a thing – that is the expert opin­ion of for­mer Spring­bok loose­head prop Rob­bie Kemp­son re­gard­ing the grow­ing chal­lenge of in-form Steven Kit­shoff to­wards in­cum­bent Tendai Mtawarira.

Kemp­son, him­self a vet­eran of 37 Tests in the No 1 jersey for the Boks, was can­did in his an­swer to a ques­tion of whether Al­lis­ter Coet­zee should per­sist with Mtawarira or call up Kit­shoff, who has been sen­sa­tional in his im­pact off the bench in re­cent Tests.

“If you had asked me three months ago, I would have said that The Beast should be put out to pas­ture but he has ob­vi­ously had a shake-up and I think he is play­ing his best rugby since that un­for­get­table se­ries he had against the Bri­tish and Ir­ish Li­ons in 2009 (when he gave Eng­land prop Phil Vick­ery a hid­ing in the scrums),” said Kemp­son, who is also a pun­dit for a na­tional broad­caster.

“I thought The Beast was fin­ished but he is very much re­ju­ve­nated and he is an­chor­ing the Spring­bok scrum,” Kemp­son said of the 32-year-old, 93 Test vet­eran.

“I am tak­ing noth­ing away from the game. The recipe is work­ing right now. Don’t change it,” Kemp­son said.

The 43-year-old Kemp­son said that he had spo­ken at length with

The Beast about his ca­reer when Kemp­son was do­ing me­dia cov­er­age of the Boks’ match against Ar­gentina in Salta.

“He ad­mit­ted that he was very de­spon­dent last year but that the whole en­vi­ron­ment had changed this year, and he wants to be part of the Boks go­ing for­ward,” Kemp­son said.

“He said that the team spirit this year be­tween last year was like a ‘grand canyon’ and that it has rein­vig­o­rated him and he wants to push on and con­trib­ute what he can to the Boks,” Kemp­son said. “The Beast said he has not been as pos­i­tive about the Boks since the ten­ure of Peter de Villiers when in 2009 the Boks beat the Bri­tish and Ir­ish Li­ons and the All Blacks three matches in a row

Mean­while, the Bok man­age­ment have con­firmed flanker Jaco Kriel is on his way home af­ter a scan con­firmed that he has suf­fered a se­ri­ous shoul­der in­jury. No re­place­ment will be called up as the coach­ing staff feel they have suf­fi­cient loose for­ward cover, and Sharks flank Jean-Luc du Preez is the favourite to re­place Kriel in the start­ing line-up.

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