Category: Springboks

Andre on the bench in BA

Rassie Nienaber has kept the same starting team that put away the Wallabies in Sydney, but has selected Elrigh Louw, Faf de Klerk and Andre Esterhuizen on the bench.

The Boks are marginal historical favourites in Argentina in the RC – 4 wins, 3 losses and 1 draw since 2012. However Argentina under Cheika has shown the ability to put away the All Blacks at home. In probably the most competitive Rugby Championship ever the Boks cannot afford to be even the slight bit complacent in any game.


Wholesale changes for Sydney

Jaques Nienaber has made 9 changes to the team including replacing Lukhanyo Am (out with a knee injury) with Jesse Kriel.

Malcolm Marx will have to get ready to play for at least 65 minutes as Deon Fourie (a very good flank but always struggled with hooker duties) is on the bench. Hookers like Johan Grobbelaar, Kerron van Vuuren and Fez Mbatha back in SA must just be shaking their heads.


Nienaber sticks to his guns

After the disaster of Ellis Park Jacques Nienaber is sticking to his guns and has selected Joseph Dweba to start at hooker and Duane Vermeulen to start at number 8. We can only hope this will turn out better this time.

Faf de Klerk is back at 9, and Warrick Gelant will be able to bamboozle the Wallabies (as well as his own team) in the 14 jersey. Willie le Roux (only player apart from Damian Willemse than can actually induce some creativity in the Bok back line) has been axed along with Jasper Wiese (who at least went through a lot of work). In turn Frans Steyn and Elton Jantjies have been added to the bench.


Bok touring squad

Due to Bongi Mbonambi being out injured for 4 weeks, the Boks are only taking one hooker that is comfortable throwing into a lineout under pressure on their tour to Australia and Argentina. Additionally the third hooker is a very good flank who used to be a very poor hooker in his early career. Just madness from Jacques Nienaber – since the lineout and maul forms such a large component of the Bok game plan.

I believe Duane Vermeulen and Frans Steyn have both been some of the greatest Boks of all times, but it is really time to let them retire in peace. Honestly it would serve the Boks better to have players like Evan Roos and Aphelele Fassi being part of the Bok squad.


Ox back for the Boks

Jacques Nienaber has made five changes to the starting team from last week. Jessie Kriel replaces the injured and banned Kurt-Lee Arendse, Jaden Hendrikse starts and Herschel Jantjies for the concussed Faf de Klerk. Additionally Duane Vermeulen has demoted Jasper Wiese to the bench, Joseph Dweba starts in place of Bongi Mbonambi (out with a injury sustained in training), Malcolm Marx moves back to the bench and Ox Nche starts at loosehead for Trevor Nyakane who drops out of the squad.


Kurt-Lee starts against the All Blacks

Nienaber has made some minor changes to the Bok team that played against Wales in the third test. Faf de Klerk and Malcolm Marx swap starting positions with Jaden Hendrickse and Bongi Mbonambi. Kurt-Lee Arendse will replace the injured Cheslin Kolbe. Salmaan Moerat has been brought back in as lock cover.


Hendrikse starts for the Boks

Jaden Hendrikse has been elevated to start for the Boks next to Handre Pollard with Faf de Klerk playing from the bench. PSDT is back in his 7 jersey with Franco Mostert moving down to the bench. Inexplicably Ox has also been dropped for Trevor Nyakane who did not look very comfortable at scrum time (at tight head though).

The rest of the team and squad that played in the first test against Wales will return for the decider.


Brave selections by Nienaber

Often a brave decision is just a stupid decision that paid off regardless. Jacques Nienaber will know just after 7 pm on Saturday which it was.

I am very glad for guys like Andre Esterhuizen and Marcell Coetzee to get another chance in a Bok jersey. Likewise very stoked for Ntuthuko Mchunu and Grant Williams who may run out as Boks later in the game.


Willemse at 15 against Wales

Jacques Nienaber has selected Damian Willemse at 15 with Willie le Roux covering flyhalf and fullback from the bench. Elton Jantjies will run the show from flyhalf.

Stormers fans will be upset that Elrigh Louw has been selected instead of Evan Roos, but I assume the thinking is that Louw will be better cover for 7 with Kwagga for 6 and 8. The pressure will be on Jasper Wiese to show that he is the man to take over from Thor.