Mallett dismisses idea of 'two sides'
September 27, 1999
Nick Mallett has dismissed the system of running two parallel sides in the tournament, adopted by Kitch Christie when his Springboks won in 1995.
Christie had a 'green' team and a 'gold' team during the 1995 campaign, with his 'golds' getting a run out in two group games while the 'greens' played the tougher group match and the knockout stages.
However Mallet wants to rotate players more, thus giving some of his squad, such as Bobby Skinstad, the chance to play themselves back into match fitness as the tournament progresses. It would also mean many key players not playing between this Sunday's opener against Scotland, and a quarter final, possibly against New Zealand or England, three weeks later.
"I would love to say to the guys, like Kitch did, that they will play two matches during the tournament," said Mallett. "But after careful consideration I have decided that this won't be possible. Some of the guys are just going to have to accept that they will play just one match in the tournament."
"There is a real danger that we could end up arriving at the quarter-finals underdone. The way our schedule works we have a three week gap between the opener against Scotland and the quarters. That is just too much time to keep the guys away from match situations."
"Although the players will be participating in extra contact training sessions, I want them to be match sharp. So instead of playing a first team against Scotland and a second team against Spain and Uruguay, I will be including first choice players in the other games as well," said the English born Springbok coach.
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