It really doesn’t make any sense to not pick Elton Jantjies for Bok tour
With Jantjies not considered and Pollard and Steyn injured and Goosen only recently back from an injury layoff, there are major concerns at flyhalf at Bok level.
Elton Jantjies hasn’t been selected to tour with the Boks to Europe. Picture: Juan Jose Gasparini/Gallo Images
How very disappointing that the Springbok management team have dropped Elton Jantjies from the squad for the November tour of Europe. I was shocked this week to see that Jantjies was not included in the 26-man training squad that will gather in Stellenbosch ahead of the tour. The only flyhalf named in the squad is Johan Goosen, who has missed two matches in recent weeks since his return to action following a long injury layoff. While Goosen is a quality player, he is injury-prone and cannot be expected to be on top of his game with so little match-time behind…
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While Goosen is a quality player, he is injury-prone and cannot be expected to be on top of his game with so little match-time behind him — the very reason given by the Bok management team for the exclusion of Jantjies.
White has pleaded for everyone to show patience with Goosen.
Game time for Jantjies
However, the flyhalf has been earmarked to tour with the Boks next month.
So with question marks around the Bulls man and Handre Pollard not fit, surely the obvious choice would be to go with an experienced campaigner in Jantjies? But no, he hasn’t played enough in recent times, according to the Boks.
But whose fault is that? Jantjies was available during the bulk of the Rugby Championship, but given little game time.
It looks more likely the Boks and SA Rugby have had enough of Jantjies’ off-field matters, or they’ve given in to public pressure; fans having long wanted to see the back of the former Lions man at national level.
Jantjies though has proven himself over many years but never been fully backed, or given a proper fair shot, at Bok level – by none of the coaches during his time in the Bok set-up. He’s also never been allowed to play his game, that which was so successful at the Lions.
With the situation the Boks find themselves in — with a lack of experienced 10s — Jantjies could have added much value in the team next month. Maybe he still gets the nod, seeing the final squad hasn’t been named, but I don’t think that will happen now.
The Boks then will be relying on Damian Willemse at 10, and possibly Goosen, who’s not fully confident in his body and hasn’t had much game-time of late, and potentially an unnamed rookie who’s not yet featured for the Boks.
Of course, Jantjies hasn’t helped himself by landing up in the press for a few off-field behaviours of late, but if he didn’t break any team protocols and the Boks are in a bit of a difficult situation with regards flyhalf, he could have been considered.
It’s also disappointing that none of the young, in-form No 10s were named in the training squad announced this week. If they’re going to tour, why wait? Show now you believe in someone and want to reward someone — what a boost of confidence that would be for the player (s), be they flyhalves or anyone else.
We now wait to see who cracks the nod from Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus.