RASSIE HAS HIS SAY

Cape Argus - - SPORT - If you take 60-70 caps out of a team, Com­piled by Jacques van der West­huyzen

ON WIL­LIE AND FAF BE­ING BACK

Play­ing France away in Paris is a big chal­lenge and I def­i­nitely think guys like Em­brose (Papier) and Damian (Willemse) learned a lot last week (against Eng­land), but get­ting Ch­es­lin (Kolbe), Faf (de Klerk) and all the ex­pe­ri­enced guys back now, when we have to grind out a win this week, is pretty im­por­tant.

ON THEIR CHANCES OF WIN­NING

It will be a tough one. The Boks did well last year to win and it will be the same this year; we’ll have to grind it out. We’ve had two close losses on the trot now (to New Zealand and Eng­land) so we’re des­per­ate and would like to turn it around. Not sure who the favourites are.

ON PI­ETER-STEPH DU TOIT MOV­ING AROUND IN THE PACK

Only at scrum time where your num­ber varies does it mat­ter, but he’s com­fort­able in any po­si­tion. His se­lec­tion at lock frees us up to pick an­other flanker. He’s do­ing a job now but there are other guys who’ll come back, so he won’t stay there. Some­times you need a guy with an en­gine at four-lock and he’ll give it to us this week.

ON LIFE WITH­OUT EBEN ETZE­BETH

it won’t be the same team, but play­ers be­ing given a chance, like RG Sny­man, Pi­eter-Steph be­ing one of the best flan­klocks I’ve worked with... they’re qual­ity. We’ll miss Eben for sure, but we’ve got proper re­place­ments and we’re close to match­ing what we’re miss­ing in him.

THE MAKE-UP OF THE FRENCH TEAM

It’s a mas­sive, phys­i­cal pack... we thought it was a big Eng­land team, but France’s locks, their loose-for­wards, it’s mas­sive. And there’s a lot of con­trol at nine and 10; it will be a big test for our for­wards.

WHY CH­ES­LIN KOLBE HAS BEEN BROUGHT IN

If you look at the changes, the new­com­ers (from Euro­pean teams) are at the same fit­ness level, time pe­riod, mind­set, con­di­tion­ing, etc. And Ch­es­lin knows the French play­ers well, so hav­ing that mix in our team will help. It’s one of the rea­sons why I picked him ahead of Damian Willemse and Gio Aplon.

THE IM­POR­TANCE OF THIS MATCH

We had a cou­ple of good wins this sea­son, and had dis­ap­point­ing losses; we’re des­per­ate for a win. When you win, the con­fi­dence goes up. We would have loved to win all four on tour but we lost last week. We’re a long way from the World Cup but now is not the time to go into a down­ward spi­ral.

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