No doubts about Burger
South Africa assistant coach Gary Gold says that Schalk Burger was always their first choice at flanker.
Last Updated: 23/06/09 5:44pm
Springboks assistant coach Gary Gold says that including Schalk Burger in the starting line-up for the second Test was a no-brainer.
The Stormers flanker was forced to sit-out South Africa's victory in Durban due to a calf injury but will make his return in Pretoria ahead of Heinrich Brussow.
Even though Brussow stood in admirably, Gold believes that a fully-fit Burger should not be kept out of the starting XV.
"I honestly believe that Schalk deserves to be in the team. He's a tried and tested Springbok and has done brilliantly for the squad. As I said, he was our first choice last week in any case," he said.
"It's a nice position to be in where you can bring a young guy in for his second Test cap and he can put his hand up so strongly.
"It's a really healthy situation to be in when the young guys come in and put the more senior guys under pressure.
"I'm sure Victor (Matfield) and Bakkies (Botha) feel the pressure from Andries (Bekker) and, in the same way, Schalk is going to feel the heat from an up-and-coming youngster."
Gold also thinks that the high-stakes nature of the second Test, where South Africa can secure the series with a win, will make it a tense and emotional affair.
"It's a good team and one that I'm happy with. It's always difficult to make a change, but I'm happy with the decision.
"We know that the first game was a tight Test match. We probably lost concentration in not closing it off.
"But what this Test match in Pretoria now becomes is one for us to try and finish the series and one for them to try and survive and try and keep the series alive. So it makes the second Test a lot spicier than the first."