Coetzee urges inexperienced South Africa to play without fear against Wales

Coetzee urges inexperienced South Africa to play without fear against Wales

South Africa coach Allister Coetzee went for broke in a bid to end a terrible 2016 on a high for the Springboks by dropping veteran wing Bryan Habana and including three debutants in his side to play Wales.

If Wales win, it will be claimed by critics that it was only against a dismal South Africa team, and if they lose, then the post-mortem could prove a detailed and lengthy one.

South Africa's new caps were Cheetahs flanker Uzair Cassiem, Bulls winger Jamba Ulengo, and Lions centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg.

Habana returned from injury to score the opening try against Italy, taking his tally to 67 tries - just two shy of the all-time Test record - in 124 appearances.

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"A lot of discussions will take place afterwards and a lot of tweaks are necessary".

South Africa: Johan Goosen, Ruan Combrinck, Francois Venter, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Jamba Ulengo, Elton Jantjies, Faf de Klerk; Tendai Mtawarira, Adriaan Strauss, Lourens Adriaanse, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Lood de Jager, Nizaam Carr, Uzair Cassiem, Warren Whiteley.

"I would not go as far as saying this is the end for Bryan", said Coetzee.

Both Janse van Rensburg and Ulengo played for South Africa in the non-cap worldwide against the Barbarians three weeks ago at Wembley Stadium in London, but will now become officially capped Springboks.

"What he has been doing this week is mentor Jamba Ulengo and share his knowledge and experience".

"I am sure they will be there going forward and right up there in 2019 (World Cup)".

This was Coetzee's first season in charge of the Boks, and he passed the captaincy to Strauss, a former Cheetahs and Bulls skipper, for the first time knowing this was the hooker's a year ago.

"The toughest part is dealing with the emotions of people, players and the management team", said Coetzee. "I think there was a fear of failure against Italy which showed itself in overthinking but there is a different mindset this week", said Coetzee. If you look at the leadership environment, we have a coach who has quite possibly lost the change room, and I say that with respect to Allister Coetzee because he's a lovely man, he's a super human being and a wonderful guy... he's got a decent coaching record and probably was at the time the right guy for the job... but he doesn't have a support team that is his, aside from Matthew Proudfoot. Dan Lydiate comes in for the injured Sam Warburton as Wales prepare for a physical encounter against South Africa.

"We have a less experienced team, but I want to see some energy and an improved performance", the under-pressure coach said.

"Lourens played well whenever he was selected and he too deserves his opportunity". "South Africans expect more from us and we expect more from ourselves".

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"We won the game, but the performance and the expectation of the players and coaches came up short".