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Jake White has to make do

NZRU

<a href="http://www.sportal.co.nz" target="_blank">sportal.co.nz</a>     29 Aug 2006     NZRU

White was reported in Durban's Daily News as saying several of his senior players, but most notably, Os du Randt, Percy Montgomery and John Smit, were off the pace and their lack of form contributed to the 45-26 loss to the All Blacks on Saturday.

Despite that, White will not drop them and introduce new players. Rather he intends to stand by the methods that have worked in the past.

"Some of our players are definitely off the pace at international level, but give me the next best.

"The point I make is that if I don't play Os, who do I play?

"Ask Greg Somerville if he would rather play against Os or against the next guy?

"Guys like Percy and John certainly need a rest, but the problem we have is that there is daylight between them and the next guy.

"You can pick the next guy who has no Test experience, but then you're not making it fair on him either because you've got less Test experience in the team," White said.

He intends sticking to the methods that produced a Tri Nations win in 2004. However, while admitting the five-game losing streak is bad, it was not helped by a poor Super 14 and the number of injuries affecting the side.

"It is the worst possible situation to have lost five games.

"But again, it is not a case of being clever - we predicted it.

"I told people three years ago we were going to sit with an injury crisis. If you say don't play Os, then Gurthro [Steenkamp] was the guy who was to have taken over from him. Danie Roussouw, Joe van Niekerk, Juan Smith and Bakkies Botha are all not available," Smith said.

The Springboks were given a day's rest to try and ease some of the pressures after their Pretoria loss.