White opts for experience

South Africa coach Jake White has revealed he will stick with his tried and tested players when he names his squad for the November Test matches against Ireland and England. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

South Africa coach Jake White has revealed he will stick with his tried and tested players when he names his squad for the November Test matches against Ireland and England.

White will reward a few younger players with places as he gives some of his experienced stars a rest from the tour, but he admits he will not make too many changes.

"You don’t beat England with a young and exciting, but inexperienced team," he said.

"You need a core of experienced, hard guys who have been there before and know what it takes to win.

"The last time the Boks won in England (29-11 in 1997), Nick Mallett had the likes of Os du Randt, James Dalton, Mark Andrews, Andre Venter, Henry Honiball and James Small in his team. I know what it takes to win there… It’s not easy."

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White also confirmed the squad had already been finalised last week.

"A good 80 minutes in a Currie Cup final won’t get a guy into the team," he continued.

"We’ve looked at performances throughout the season, including the Super 14, and have selected a squad for the job at hand, but also with an eye on next year’s World Cup.

"We’re certainly going to give some new guys a chance to show what they can do, but it’s important that they come into a side with an environment they can settle into, be comfortable with and where they have seniors to turn to.

"We don’t want the new players to be nervous going into any game. That’s why we need an experienced core," explained the coach.

White believes the biggest challenge for him in selecting the squad is to build up some depth on the tour.

"My focus must change. I now have to look at giving the Boks a realistic chance of winning the World Cup. And to do that I have to see what we have in reserve," he said.

"The hardest lesson I’ve learned in the last three years is the massive impact it has on a team when key players are lost. I don’t want that to happen on the eve of the World Cup, so the decisions I’m making now are to ensure that we don’t find ourselves in a difficult position next season."

South Africa play Ireland in Dublin on November 11 followed by back-to-back Tests against England at Twickenham on November 18 and 25.

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