Brunel: All Black Tests helped restore Bok confidence

Cape Town – France coach Jacques Brunel believes the Springboks got their confidence back after impressing against the All Blacks in 2018.

Brunel was speaking ahead of his side’s Test against South Africa in Paris on Saturday.

Under new coach Rassie Erasmus, the Springboks have won five and lost six Tests this year, but impressed against the world’s No 1-ranked side, New Zealand.

The Boks beat the All Blacks 36-34 in the Rugby Championship in Wellington and came agonisingly close in the return match in Pretoria, before losing 32-30.

And it is for this reason that Brunel is wary ahead of Saturday’s Test at the Stade de France.

“It took matches against the All Blacks to comfort them and restore their confidence,” Brunel told the official FFR website.

Brunel added that the Bok pack remains strong, “as has historically been the case”, but noted that they boast dangerous backs like scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and wings like S’bu Nkosi and Aphiwe Dyantyi.

“There are new wings with a lot of quality and speed. They (the Springboks) found this compromise. These qualities were questioned some time ago.”

But the French mentor added: “For the match on Saturday, what is certain is that the physical intensity will be there!”

Kick-off is at 22:05 (SA time).

Teams:

France

15 Maxime Medard, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 11 Damian Penaud, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Arthur Iturria, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 3 Cedate Gomes Sa, 2 Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1 Jefferson Poirot

Substitutes: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Paul Gabrillagues, 20 Mathieu Babillot, 21 Antoine Dupont, 22 Anthony Belleau, 23 Gael Fickou

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 S’bu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Duane Vermeulen, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Cheslin Kolbe