‘Lood is our best player’

Five former players on whether Victor Matfield or Lood de Jager should start at No 5 lock in the Boks' quarter-final showdown against Wales at Twickenham.

Mark Andrews (former Bok lock and No 8)

'Lood de Jager must start without a doubt. Heyneke Meyer selected his best possible side against the USA and deployed the same players against Wales. Lood has been outstanding in every match he's played and it would be unfair to drop him for the quarter-final. I'd also rather have Pieter-Steph du Toit coming off the bench as an impact player than Victor Matfield. I'd like to see the coach name an unchanged starting team.'

'Krynauw Otto (former Bok lock)

'Victor would normally be the first name down in my team. His seniority and leadership is unrivalled. But looking at how Wales came at the Wallabies on Saturday, we're in for a bruising battle. I'd start with Lood because he is more physical. Lood has shown he can perform under the toughest circumstances, so there should not be any worry about starting him in a big match like a World Cup quarter-final. Victor should not be omitted entirely, we'll still need a player of his calibre towards the end when trying to either close out or win the match.'

Gary Teichmann (former Bok captain and No 8)

'Lood must start. Not only has he been the form lock, he's our best player at the World Cup. It's incredible to see how much he has matured and grown as a player. He's in the form of his life and I can't see him being dropped from the team. He is more than capable of fulfilling any role Victor has within the current team. And after the Japan fiasco, the coach can't afford to select anything other the best team. An in-form Lood can't be overlooked for an experienced Matfield.'

Stefan Terblanché (former Bok fullback)

'Lood for me. We need our best players on the field against Wales and Lood is the best in that position at the moment. The only changes I'd make to the starting XV, fitness permitting, is to bring in JP Pietersen and Jannie du Plessis. Lood has proved his worth over the past couple of weeks and I think he has cemented his place in the team. Our best players played against the USA and the vast majority of them, Lood included, must start at Twickenham on Saturday.'

Photo: Anne Laing/HSM Images

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