Big Bok decision on right wing: Gelant or Moodie?
There are several big selection decisions to be made ahead of the Test in Adelaide.
Will Warrick Gelant be the Boks’ right wing on Saturday against the Wallabies? Picture: Charle Lombard/Gallo Images
Will it be Warrick Gelant or rookie Canan Moodie?
That is the big selection question at right wing that will be answered later Monday when Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber names his team for the Rugby Championship Test against the Wallabies in Adelaide this Saturday.
The more experienced Gelant appears to be the front-runner for the role, but Moodie has his supporters, including Bulls coach Jake White who has predicted the young star will play many Tests for the Boks in future.
The No 14 jersey is looking for a new owner after Cheslin Kolbe, Kurt-Lee Arendse and Jesse Kriel were all ruled out of contention in recent weeks.
Nienaber has other key decisions to make as well.
Will Malcolm Marx be back in the No 2 jersey with Joseph Dweba playing off the bench, or will Dweba get another run in the starting team despite his troubles 10 days ago against the All Blacks?
Also, will Duane Vermeulen retain his place at eighthman despite his low-key return to the side in the defeat to the All Blacks at Ellis Park or will Jasper Wiese return to the starting team?
The Boks haven’t beaten Australia in Australia in nine years and will be desperate to get back to winning ways after their loss in Joburg.
Australia, like the Boks, have won one and lost one game in this year’s Rugby Championship — against Argentina in Argentina — and are a side with plenty questions about their form and selections.
The Boks got stuck into a first field training session on Monday, with the side to be named around midday SA time.
“The players rested well on the plane, and everyone is excited to be in Australia and they are looking forward to our two Tests against the Wallabies,” said Nienaber.
“I must commend our operational staff for the swift manner in which they dealt with the cancellation of our original flight (last Thursday) and for making things as simple as possible for the team to hop onto the next available flight (Friday).
“The professional manner in which the situation was dealt with resulted in minimal disruption to our programme, which is certainly pleasing from a coaching perspective.”
Regarding the week ahead, Nienaber said: “This is going to be a massive week for us, and everyone understands the importance of ensuring that they recover as well as possible so that we can train full-out on Monday as we look to get our Rugby Championship campaign back on track.
“We haven’t beaten Australia at home since 2013, so we are under no illusions about the challenge that lies ahead. We will have to be at best to start our tour on a positive note.”