Scrum coach says Boks are ready

The Springbok scrum coach Pieter de Villiers says they've prepared as best as possible for the new scrum laws.

The Springboks play their first Rugby Championship game on Saturday

JOHANNESBURG - The Springbok scrum coach Pieter de Villiers says they've prepared as best as possible for the new scrum laws and the significant shift they'll bring to world rugby.

The new laws of 'crouch, bind, set' will be implemented for the first time on the international stage in the opening matches of the Rugby Championship this weekend.

The Boks take on Argentina this weekend in Johannesburg while the All Blacks travel to Sydney to play Australia.

De Villiers says they're confident of implementing what they've done in training into Saturday's match.

"It's a learning process and it's a big change for all players worldwide. They've been practicing their trade for the past ten years, or most of their professional rugby career, with the hit scrum."

De Villiers says he would have liked more time with the players but is confident they'll be able to adapt adequately.

"We never have enough time with the Springboks. We would always love to have our players more often. Going into a game without match time or scrums under the belt in a match situation is not ideal, but most teams are in that situation and you have to start somewhere so we are positive."

De Villiers also says that with the new laws we'll see a shift in tactics from the coaches and how they use their substitutes.

"I think you will probably use most of your bench in the future. It's obviously not my call, but I think fatigue levels in the front row might increase with the new scrum laws and you will have to use your fresh bench sometimes earlier on in the game."

De Villiers also confirmed that despite Jannie du Plessis struggling with a calf niggle last week he's trained well.

"Jannie came through very well with his calf. He was rested early last week, but he came through well and he has done a lot of scrummaging with the pack. We are happy with his progress."

Coach Ricardo Loubscher says the news that Dan Carter will be unavailable for the All Blacks for three to four weeks is a big blow, but that they have adequate depth to cover his loss.

"It's obviously a big blow for them because Dan is a world class player, but in terms of their depth, whether their number two or number three comes in, it won't make any difference because those guys are quality guys. They have world class outside backs that can make the step up any time".

The Rugby Championship starts on Saturday when the All Blacks take on Australia and the Springboks face Argentina.