Jantjies made his Super Rugby return from a shoulder injury against the Sharks last weekend, but was still well below his own high standards, and the Lions started their resurgence once Marnitz Boshoff was moved to pivot and Jantjies taken off.
But after a tough training session in torrential rain yesterday morning, Ackermann spoke of the importance of both players to the team, stressing he didn’t want a repeat of last year when Jantjies’ confidence levels took a dip.
“Elton has just returned from a lengthy absence and it is our focus to get him back to where he was, but we don’t want to see a repeat of last season at the Stormers where his confidence levels dropped because of a lack of faith showed in him,” said Ackermann.
Jantjies thrives on self confidence. The higher it is the better he performs and when he is on song, he can be devastating.
But Ackermann didn’t want to speculate whether he would continue with Jantjies for this weekend’s Blues game at Ellis Park or start with Boshoff.
“Both players are important to the team, but I have confidence in both of them and don’t want to play one off against the other,” said Ackermann.
“This weekend against the Blues will be tough. I hear their coach talking about taking some points back to Auckland.
“But after four straight local derbies, the players are excited to face foreign opposition and show their worth.”