Wallabies coach Michael Cheika believes the selection of scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies in the Springboks’ starting lineup is an indication of his talent.
The 23-year-old Jantjies will make his Test debut against Australia at Ellis Park on Saturday after Bok coach Rassie Erasmus selected him in the run-on XV for the first match of the year.
Cheika, when probed on his thoughts on Jantjies’ inclusion, was full of praise for the nuggety scrumhalf and for South Africa’s depth at No 9 in general.
‘If he’s getting picked for South Africa, he has to be good enough, doesn’t he. I’m sure he is going to go good on Saturday, we just have to make sure he doesn’t go too good. We have to tackle him and put a bit of pressure on him,’ Cheika said.
‘As a person who has never played Test rugby myself, I think every player who does get selected for a Test match has to be respected and honoured that he is playing there. And it’s up to us to put pressure on him.’
The outspoken Wallabies boss also highlighted what he believes is a South African strong point.
‘They’ve got quality players here [in South Africa]. Like I can’t even count how many quality players they have and then you’ve got to count how many quality players have gone to play in Europe.
‘I don’t remember correctly, but I’m pretty sure I coached Cobus Reinach at the BaaBaas after the last World Cup. He is talented and a great player as well. Then there’s [Faf] de Klerk, [Embrose] Papier, the guy [Jantjies] who’s playing on Saturday. They’ve got talent everywhere and I’m sure they are gonna go good.’
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