Dan Biggar: Springboks haven’t disrespected Wales with team selection

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Wales captain Dan Biggar insists that South Africa are not discrediting the series by making mass changes to their side for this weekend’s clash.

The Springboks have altered 14 of their starting XV, with Eben Etzebeth the only player to retain their place in the line-up.

Damian Willemse remains in the squad but drops to the bench, where Malcolm Marx and Vincent Koch also reside.

Those are the only four players involved last week to feature in the second Test, but Biggar does not believe that the Boks have devalued Saturday’s match.

In-form players

“I don’t believe that, not at all,” said Biggar. “If you look at the players they have picked this weekend, you would almost say they are the real in-form players.”

Biggar is also adamant that the changes do not lessen the quality within the South African squad.

“I believe the team we are playing on Saturday is probably a team that is a little bit more match sharp because they have been playing more,” he said.

“If you look at 12 for example (Harlequins centre Andre Esterhuizen) he has been the in-form player in the Premiership.

“They have swapped a World Cup winner and brilliant player in Damian de Allende for Esterhuizen and it certainly does not weaken them.

“There are lots of changes to the team, but I don’t believe many of the changes weaken their side.

“We are almost more wary because we are not quite sure what to expect. We know more about players like De Allende, Lukhanyo Am, Cheslin Kolbe and Makazole Mapimpi so we are little bit more cautious this week.”

Wales legend Sir Gareth Edwards has been among those to criticise the Boks for their team selection, but Biggar says that it shows the depth in South African rugby.

Pollard the glue

“I know the side we played last weekend are renowned experienced World Cup winners,” he added.

“But this team have (Handre) Pollard at 10, who is going to glue that together a little bit better, you would have thought.

“They have some really exciting form players in that team. When you look at the team and the names and I heard they had made 14 changes, I was wondering who they were going to bring in.

“When you see the teamsheet I don’t expect this to be anything other than a tough game on Saturday.

“We make changes every autumn when we play Georgia or Fiji or whoever it is. So there is nothing in it for me. South Africa can pick who they want and they are going to be strong whoever they put out.”

READ MORE: Alex Cuthbert replaces Josh Adams in only tweak to Wales team to face much-changed South Africa

 

The article Dan Biggar: Springboks haven’t disrespected Wales with team selection appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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