Following the opening loss to the British & Irish Lions, a reader’s poll has backed Jasper Wiese to start for the Boks in the decisive second Test on Saturday, but there was also a shock runner-up vote.
The Boks will be seeking to defy history after losing the first Test against the British & Irish Lions at Cape Town Stadium this past Saturday.
After going into the break 12-3 up, the World Cup champions were outplayed in the second half, in which the Lions scored 19 points and conceded only five.
It is the 14th Lions tour of South Africa – and, as history reveals, the team winning the first Test has gone on to win the series 12 times. The only exception was in 1955, when the Springboks came back to share a four-Test series.
Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber will have some key decisions to make over his match-day 23 for the next Test match.
Among them is whether to continue with Kwagga Smith at No 8. The former Blitzbok player has come under fire for his performance in the first Test, particularly after he was targeted under the high ball by the Lions backline.
Nienaber backed Smith to start ahead of Wiese, who it could be argued, would provide more of a impact on the gainline.
Following a poll by SARugbymag.co.za, where readers were given the chance to vote for which change they would most like to see to the Springboks’ match-day 23 for the second Test in Cape Town, a new No 8 was the clear favourite.
Starting with Jasper Wiese and having Smith revert to an impact player off the bench got over 43% of the votes, while also ranking high was calling up Stormers youngster Evan Roos and putting him straight into the starting lineup after his impressive performances against the Lions and in the Currie Cup.
Readers would also like to see Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe return to the starting lineup, despite Ox Nche and Trevor Nyakane’s impressive performances in the first Test.
Nienaber will name the team to play in the second Test against the Lions at 1:30pm on Tuesday.
Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images