Noves set to call on the big guns

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - DAR­RYN POL­LOCK

IT NEEDS to be re­mem­bered that the French are com­ing off the back of their long do­mes­tic sea­son, in fact, the fi­nal be­tween Toulon and Cler­mont was played the week be­fore the Lof­tus Test, and team man­age­ment al­lowed play­ers from those clubs to have the week off. Now, with the sec­ond test loom­ing, French coach Guy Noves can call on his big guns in the hope of re­vers­ing the re­cent de­feat. Toulon hooker Guil­hem Guirado is set to take his spot in the No 2 jumper, and pick up the cap­taincy along with it. Another Toulon man, Fran­cois Trinh-Duc could also slot straight in af­ter fly­ing out for the in­jured Camille Lopez. Noves has also flown in Cler­mont lock Paul Je­drasiak for in­jured club team­mate Arthur Itur­ria. In to­tal, Noves could call on seven fi­nal­ists to bol­ster his squad, and many of those are ex­pe­ri­enced Test play­ers. From Toulon, loose­head prop Xavier Chiocci could part­ner Guirado in the front row while lock Ro­main Taofifenua will add to their ball car­ries. It re­mains to be seen if Noves will make whole­sale changes in the wake of an em­bar­rass­ing loss for the French. There is much merit in keep­ing con­ti­nu­ity, but with front­line play­ers miss­ing, the side that played at Lof­tus could al­most be de­scribed as a ‘B’ side. Cap­tain for the day last Satur­day, Yoann Maestri, was in­cred­i­bly suc­cinct in his as­sess­ment of what needs to im­prove when in­ter­viewed af­ter the match, stat­ing sim­ply “ev­ery­thing”. The Boks are ex­pect­ing a huge back­lash from the French and those play­ers who watched from the stands last week will be rar­ing to go.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.