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Springboks stung by 'B side' insults

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Sportal.co.nz     03 Jul 2007     allblacks.com

White remains bemused by claims he has brought a 'B side' to Australia, despite having rested a number of his regular starting XV for the Australasian leg of the Philips Tri Nations. "I'm quite amazed by the reaction because, I mean, all of a sudden Australian media have become selectors for South Africa," White said. "I can't over emphasise, I mean, I'm really thankful to you guys (the Australian media) that you've motivated our team by saying we're a B-side," White said. White argued that many of the his so-called B-players were in-fact the form players of the Rebel Sport Super 14 season, but were initially overlooked as selectors stayed loyal to the incumbent Test players. "We've been consistent in selecting players the last four years (and) we've left them (home) now because some of them are carrying niggling injuries," White said. "The same injuries (Wallaby Dan) Vickerman had, the same injuries (Chris) Latham's got, the same injuries (Lote) Tuqiri had; (but we) are now labelled as B-Team players." Stand-in Springbok's skipper Bob Skinstad echoed his coaches' sentiments and is confident his side can be very competitive against the Wallabies. The 34-Test veteran says the chance to push for World Cup selection is ample motivation for his players but admits the sentiments of the Australian media have provided added incentive. "I'll be honest, a B-side for me I think is an insult but, you know, insult me all you want because we're here and we've got rugby to play and that's our job," Skinstad said. "My obligation to South Africa and to the people of South Africa is to play the best rugby I can and it's exactly the same for every other guy who gets picked to play in this team." Skinstad says the future is bright for South Africa and is confident it remains on track ahead of the World Cup in September. "I genuinely believe that the stars are aligned for South African rugby (and) this is an overseas tour where we can see if that's the case or not." Skinstad said.