Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
21 Jun 2018
8:54 am

Newlands will (probably) see a few Bok changes

Rudolph Jacobs

Rassie Erasmus wants to develop proper backups for some of the positions in the national side without making the jersey cheap.

Warrick Gelant. Photo: Gallo Images.

Warrick Gelant at fullback and Embrose Papier from the bench as backup No 9 to Faf de Klerk – these are the rabbits Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus could pull from his hat ahead of the third and final England Test at Newlands this weekend.

Erasmus has made a few things clear since taking over and two are that he is not going to make Bok colours cheap; neither will he change just for the sake of changing.

After clinching the series with a 23-12 win in Bloemfontein last weekend, many would think this weekend to be a dead rubber, but not Erasmus.

He said he is still experimenting with combinations as he searches for the 32 players for next year’s World Cup in Japan and he sees this weekend as another opportunity.

He already indicated hooker Schalk Brits will find a spot in his match 23 but it’s his other choices which could surprise.

At fullback, he might give an opportunity for Gelant to start ahead of Willie le Roux, who impressed over the past two weekends, but Erasmus is still looking to find backups in each position.

In midfield, Andre Esterhuizen and Jesse Kriel are set to start in place of Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am, while at flyhalf, Elton Jantjies could start in place of Handre Pollard.

While Wednesday was a rare day of sunshine in the Mother City, more wet weather is predicted in the build-up to the weekend.

Erasmus is keen to test which players are comfortable in wet conditions and his changes should be seen as rotational, not dropping players, as he extends his horizons in team selections.

Few other changes are foreseen up front.

But Erasmus is apparently also eager to discover what his extra options at lock and loose forward are, especially with Warren Whiteley and hooker Malcolm Marx back in the picture for the
Rugby Championship.

Possible Springbok XV: Warrick Gelant, S’bu Nkosi, Jesse Kriel, Andre Esterhuizen, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Elton Jantjies, Faf de Klerk, Duane Vermeulen, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (c), Franco Mostert, RG Snyman, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Beast Mtawarira.