Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
1 Aug 2019
9:06 am

Ackers: Rassie spot-on with Springbok selections

Rudolph Jacobs

Yet the former Lions coach prefers to stay mum on whether his son, Ruan, and the bustling Jaco Kriel deserved a look-in.

Head Coach Rassie Erasmus of the Springboks looks on ahead of the 2019 Rugby Championship Test Match between New Zealand and South Africa at Westpac Stadium on July 27, 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus is on the right track as far as team selection is concerned, according to former Bok lock Johan Ackermann.

The Boks had displayed good form in the early stages of the international season, winning their first Rugby Championship game against Australia before settling for a draw against defending champions New Zealand in Wellington last week.

ALSO READ: Are the Springboks and co tackling the entertainment out of Test rugby?

Erasmus had also done well to build the depth of the squad, with the team who faced the Wallabies pushing the players who started against the All Blacks for places in the side at the World Cup in Japan.

Ahead of their final Championship clash in Salta next week, the likes of scrumhalf Cobus Reinach, lock Lood de Jager and prop Lizo Gqoboka could be rewarded with starting places after missing the Test against New Zealand.

Ackermann, the head coach of English team Gloucester, said the Bok coach had got most of his selections spot-on.

Johan Ackermann, the Gloucester head coach, looks on during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Gloucester Rugby and Wasps at Kingsholm Stadium on March 23, 2019 in Gloucester, United Kingdom. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

“I think Rassie has brought together a very good group,” said Ackermann, who turned out with Erasmus at the Cats during their playing days.

“I think there is a good mixture of experience and a couple of young, promising players.”

In a World Cup year, a few players could be considered unlucky for not being part of the mix, including loose forwards Jaco Kriel and Ruan Ackermann, who had followed Ackermann from the Lions to Gloucester.

“I don’t want to get involved in a debate about whether Jaco and Ruan (his son) should have been in the mix or not,” Ackermann said.

“I do have my own opinion but I don’t think I should make that public knowledge.”

Jaco Kriel of Gloucester holds off George Furbank during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Northampton Saints and Gloucester Rugby at Franklin’s Gardens on April 07, 2019 in Northampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The Boks resumed training in Auckland on Wednesday after taking a short break, as they kicked off their preparations for next week’s showdown in Argentina.

Marvin Orie (lock) and André Esterhuizen (centre) joined their team-mates on the training pitch after they had linked up with the squad late on Monday evening.

For more sport your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.