Schalk Burger: Springbok legend expected Scott Barrett to be selected on flank for the All Blacks

·2-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Springbok legend Schalk Burger says he expected Scott Barrett to be selected at blindside flanker for the All Blacks in the Nelspruit Test last weekend.

Barrett was used in the back-row against Ireland but shifted back to the second-row against South Africa to fill the role of the injured veteran Brodie Retallick, who remains sidelined.

Hard ball carrier

Burger believes Barrett can do the hard ball carrying that could result in go-forward ball for the All Blacks as Jerome Kaino used to do previously for New Zealand.

“I thought it might have happened this week because he’s quite an explosive ball carrier,” Burger said to Justin Marshall on Sky Sport NZ.

“Even though he’s a lock at heart, you need someone to go through the guts.

“We throw it back to a Jerome Kaino of old, against the Boks he’s going to front up for 80 minutes.”

Captaincy burden for Sam Cane

Burger singled out All Blacks number eight Ardie Savea as the pick of the New Zealand forwards at the moment, whilst he believes the burden of captaincy during this tricky period makes it difficult for Sam Cane.

“Look, every one of these All Blacks loose forwards are great players, but at the moment if anyone stands out it’s Ardie Savea, sometimes it looks like a one man band because he does a bit of everything,” Burger said.

“It’s hard when you’re a captain in any side and you’re not playing your best and you’ve got a lot on your shoulders and I think that’s where Sam Cane’s at.

“So it’s quite hard to free yourself up, because that pressure just sits there. I think it clouds your judgement on decision-making where the team’s at within a game.

“And then Akira Ioane, I think I’d pick for certain games, especially when he can dominate in the wide channels.

“He’s like another back, such a nice skillset. But against the Boks, I don’t see him enough mixing it with our big boys and that’s where you’ve got to fight fire with fire, I think, against this Bok defence.”

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