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Bok coach backs Coenie Oosthuizen

Heyneke Meyer is comfortable with only one specialist tighthead prop in his squad.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.  Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer says he's comfortable having only selected one specialist tighthead prop - Jannie du Plessis - in his squad for the Rugby Championship.

Meyer is backing Coenie Oosthuizen to step into the breach should he be required in that role. Oosthuizen is one of five props in the squad.

The coach says the new scrum laws that come into effect during the Rugby Championships play to Oosthuizen's strengths.

"This year we are going straight into the new rules in test match rugby and we are not sure what to expect. But we feel that Coenie is the second tighthead [in the team]."

He adds that he feels it is important to give the Cheetahs forward some game time ahead of the introduction of the new laws.

"Pat Cilliers and Lawrence Adriaanse, who are on standby, can come straight into the side."

The Springboks reported to camp on Monday ahead of their Rugby Championship icebreaker against Argentina at the FNB Stadium next Saturday.

Key challenges compounding Meyer's squad selection include the exodus of locally-based players who have been lured overseas by lucrative contracts.

Meyer has welcomed the return of Fourie du Preez, who he worked with successfully at the Bulls. Du Preez has been unavailable for selection since joining the Japanese club Suntory Sungoliath at the end of 2011.

He hopes the scrumhalf can have the same sort of impact that Australian flank George Smith had this year.

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