Nienaber understands risks involved with Boks' 7-1 bench

Nienaber understands risks involved with Boks' 7-1 bench

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber is comfortable with the risks of naming a potent 7-1 split on the bench for their blockbuster Rugby World Cup fixture against Ireland.

Nienaber named seven bulky forwards and one solitary backline player - Cobus Reinach - in his matchday 23 to face Ireland in the Boks' tantalising Pool B clash against Ireland on Saturday.

However, the risk is mitigated somewhat by the versatility the Bok backline has shown, with a number of players able to fulfil different roles.

"We understand the risk involved," he said, as per

"On that seven-one bench there are guys who cover various positions. We have a lot of versatility within the squad - as we showed this past weekend by playing four No.9s.

"With the risk that we take, we are comfortable that we are covered."

The headline-grabbing move seemingly distracted the press from the omission of two World Cup-winning stalwarts - behemoth Duane Vermeulen and the silky Willie le Roux - from the starting line-up.

However, Nienaber revealed that every member of the 33-man Rugby World Cup squad understands their role in the team's success and that competition for places is high.

"We believe that is the team that will front up to all the challenges of Ireland will present to us on Saturday," he continued.

"Not many people would have raised an eyebrow if we went with Willie [le Roux] instead of Gazza [Damian Willemse].

"We know it will take a group effort from the 33 players here. The environment within the squad is such that everybody is happy for the guys that got selected.

"That is the beauty of where our squad is currently. If we are successful, everybody will drink out of the Webb Ellis Cup."

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