Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies is eager to make use of a rare chance to start as the Boks take on Scotland in their second end-of-year UK tour clash at Murrayfield on Saturday.
This is only Jantjies’ second start in 12 Bok games this year, having last started in the first Rugby Championship Test against Argentina, which South Africa won 32-12, while Handre Pollard has started the other 10 matches.
Despite the lack of opportunities, Jantjies is fully focussed on assisting the team in any way and he will be looking to direct the side from flyhalf this weekend.
“It’s not about me as an individual, it’s all about the team, but the responsibility is now on me to lead the boys in certain aspects of our game and making sure that we execute the things that we have been working on as a group,” Jantjies said.
“We have to make sure that we align with the game plan, so that’s my responsibility and it’s just about us focussing on Scotland and not worrying too much about what happened in the past.”
The biggest challenge for Jantjies this weekend will be how he handles Scotland star Finn Russell, who is undoubtedly the home team’s key player.
Russell showed his class against the Boks earlier this year when he replaced the injured Dan Biggar in the third British and Irish Lions Test and injected some much needed flair and attacking prowess into the side, and he will probably look to do the same this weekend.
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“We have all seen what he (Russell) is capable of. In that last Test against the British and Irish Lions I think he made a big difference and he challenged our group in a different way, so we have a bit of experience in how he will play against us,” said Jantjies.
“But for us it’s just about focussing on our systems, working together as a group and making sure that we stop whatever he throws at us.
“It’s not only him but the whole (Scotland) team that we have to look out for, it’s a different team from 2018 but with similar management and they give us different challenges.
“They have younger players who are going to be full of energy and they will be looking to impress playing against the world champions, so that always motivates teams and we are just looking forward to Saturday.”