Rassie Erasmus has hinted that Marcell Coetzee is still in line for World Cup selection despite managing only 15 minutes of play against Argentina on Saturday.
Coetzee started at eighthman for the Boks in the World Cup warm-up game at Loftus, but was forced off with a concussion just 15 minutes into the contest. Kwagga Smith came on as his replacement for the remainder of the match.
It was an unfortunate turn of events for Coetzee, who would have been looking for an extended run to stake a claim for a spot in Erasmus’ 31-man World Cup squad.
However, it would appear all is not lost for him just yet after Erasmus said that the 15-minute cameo wasn’t a determining selection factor when it came to Coetzee.
‘For Marcell it’s a tough one because of what we have in other loose forwards who really did well in previous games,’ Erasmus said.
‘It’s tough to rate 15 minutes, so even if I analyse it and he played badly, I know he is hard and committed and he will never drop you. So, those 15 minutes won’t determine if we pick him or not.’
The coach added that the overall make-up of the loose forwards in the squad has to be factored in, but that Coetzee’s versatility possibly gives him an edge.
‘We’ll go and look at the injuries and combinations, but he is one of the those great guys who is just so versatile. He can play openside and No 8 and you also know what you get from him, so those 15 minutes he played won’t be make or break for him.’
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