Schalk Brits, Kieran Read salute Springboks for going 'all-in' with 7-1 split

Schalk Brits, Kieran Read salute Springboks for going 'all-in' with 7-1 split

Former World Cup winners Schalk Brits and Kieran Read have hailed the Springbok coaching staff for having the guts to select seven forwards on the bench for Saturday's final.

The All Blacks' pack faces a daunting task in the tournament's finale, with the Springboks selecting seven forwards on their bench and just one backline replacement, while Foster has opted for the more conventional 5-3 split.

"You've got to hand it to Rassie; he's got the gumption to go for it. It's a little bit of an all-in play. It's risky, it has its risks," said Read, a former World Rugby Player of the Year who played 127 Tests for the All Blacks.

"From the All Blacks point of view, it just reaffirms how much our forwards are going to have to work in the game.

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"It also offers some options too for us later in the game, to run against some tired backs potentially."

Former Bok hooker Schalk Brits, meanwhile, believes the current squad is better than the 2019 team, which he was involved in, that won the tournament.

"Rassie is rolling the dice. He understands that playing the top six sides in the world was extremely tough on the bodies. There was definitely physical and mental fatigue when we played England," he said.

"He is going all in on a proper South African strategy by dominating from a forward perspective and giving a bit of space for the backs to do what they do best, either kick some goals or make magic in the backline.

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"I think this squad is better than we had in 2019. What is different is we can play both styles of the game. When all odds are against us, we grind it out and somehow find a way to win."

Commenting on the 7-1 split on the bench, Brits says that the Springboks players no longer worry about whether they are starting or not.

"Everyone wants to wear the number one (starting) shirt, but if the focus is not about entitlement then it's not about me wearing that shirt but the best player for that specific role in that specific game who will be best equipped to do the best for the team. He (Erasmus) did sell it to the team that this is his best strategy," he said.

"At times he, (Erasmus) has got it wrong he has put his hands up and said 'listen, I made a mistake, and I'll take ownership for that loss'. The players then trust in him, and then you want to win for that guy."

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