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Koch: Competition for places is good for the Boks

The Saracens-based Vincent Koch returns to the Test squad for the first time since November 2016 when the 30 Test cap rule was implemented made him ineligible for selection.

FILE: Vincent Koch addresses the media in Cape Town on 8 July 2015 after it was announced that he will make his debut for the Springboks against the World XV. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Springbok tight-head prop Vincent Koch believes that the competition for places in the Bok forwards pack bodes well for the future of the national side.

The Saracens-based Koch returns to the Test squad for the first time since November 2016 when the 30 Test cap rule was implemented made him ineligible for selection.

Now that the rule has been rescinded, Koch is back to provide more tight head prop options for Rassie Erasmus, who still has Frans Malherbe, Thomas du Toit and Wilco Louw at his disposal in the position.

With a healthy list of tighthead props available to choose from, Koch says that he is happy with the competition for places in the squad.

“It’s a good problem to have, I think the group of tighthead props we have at the moment are world class players and any coach of any team would love to have that kind of problem.”

The 28-year-old Koch says that he is relishing the challenge for a place in Saturday’s matchday 23 squad to face the Wallabies at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

“It’s definitely a challenge I am relishing and I and the rest of the guys are all mates and we all want the best for each other. We have to push each other harder so that we can reach the next level and that will bring out the best for us as players and ultimately for the team as well.”

The Boks will be aiming to keep their perfect record intact in Port Elizabeth against an Australian side that is under pressure having lost their previous game of the competition against Argentina at home for the first time since 1983.

Kickoff at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is at 17:00.

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