SARugbymag.co.za readers voted overwhelmingly in favour of making at least one change to the Springbok team that will tackle the All Blacks in Gold Coast on Saturday, while only 12 percent backed coach Jacques Nienaber’s selections.
The Bok coach made just two injury-enforced changes to the match-day squad that went down against New Zealand in Townsville – prop Ox Nche earns a start and fit-again Jasper Wiese takes a seat on the bench in place of Frans Malherbe and Marco van Staden, respectively.
Based on the low probability of clinching a win against the top-ranked team in a Rugby Championship dead rubber this week, readers were asked whether they agreed with Nienaber’s decision not to make tactical changes.
With the Bok tactical trio of Faf de Klerk, Handre Pollard and Willie le Roux struggling for form this season, it was suggested that this Test may have reaped long-term rewards had the coach given the next man up an opportunity to stake a claim to the No 9, 10 or 15 jerseys.
While only 12 percent of readers backed the call to keep the same team, 49 percent of respondents would have given Sharks dynamo Aphelele Fassi a start on the wing or at fullback.
The next most popular selection, Cobus Reinach received 19 percent of the vote to replace De Klerk, while 10.5 percent would have liked to see Elton Jantjies get a run at flyhalf, almost six percent thought Damian Willemse deserved a go at 12 and the remaining three percent voted for Jasper Wiese to line up at No 8 with Duane Vermeulen on the blindside.