The SA Rugby magazine team identify what they would love to see come out of the Boks’ final preparations and game on home soil before departing to the World Cup in Japan.
Craig Lewis (digital/print editor) wants Frans Steyn to receive an extended run.
It’s a pity that the Bok stalwart has missed out on what would have been a first Test start since 2012. In the context of this penultimate World Cup warm-up match, Steyn’s versatility to cover both 10, 12 and 15 has him remaining on the bench, which has a six-two split among forwards and backs.
That’s somewhat understandable, but I’d love to see Steyn afforded a lengthy run off the bench in the second half. It will be interesting to see where Steyn comes on – most likely at inside centre – but there could also be value in seeing what he could offer as a backup at flyhalf.
Let’s not forget that Elton Jantjies did play some Vodacom Super Rugby at 12 this season, so it’s not beyond the realm of possibility for him to move there this Saturday in order to accommodate Steyn at 10 for a period of play.
Whatever the case may be, Steyn would benefit from another decent shift on the international stage.
Jon Cardinelli (chief writer) hopes that Aphiwe Dyantyi recovers in time to feature at the World Cup.
This wish is not specific to the coming weekend or – as a Lions spokesperson recently confirmed – the next two weeks. However, I feel it’s important that Dyantyi bounces back from his ailment to make the World Cup squad.
The player has something special and the Boks will need that gamebreaking ability when they go searching for big wins against the All Blacks and some of the better northern-hemisphere teams.
The Boks are blessed with several good back-three options at present. Cheslin Kolbe, Sbu Nkosi and Makazole Mapimpi all expected to travel to Japan.
It would be a shame, though, if Dyantyi – the 2018 World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year – was forced to miss this World Cup.
Dylan Jack (staff writer) wants Siya Kolisi to fire in his first Test start in 2019.
Rassie Erasmus has told Kolisi to ’empty the tank’ as the flank gets his first minutes for the Boks this year against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld.
The controversial decision to give Schalk Brits the captaincy on Saturday in order to let Kolisi focus on his own game has led to plenty of debate.
Kolisi was still a bit cautious about his knee in his comeback game for Western Province last weekend and does clearly need to regain a bit of confidence in the collisions.
However, one hopes he at least gets through at least a good 40 minutes of Test rugby.
Come the 21 September clash with the All Blacks, the Springboks will need their skipper at his best and everything needs to be done to get him there.
Mariette Adams (staff writer) hopes Marcell Coetzee makes a proper impact in the World Cup bid.
I really hope Coetzee makes the cut in the Springboks’ 31-man World Cup squad. For that to happen, though, he needs to produce a blinder of a performance against Argentina on Saturday.
In a raft of changes to the Bok team this week, Coetzee – who is primarily an openside flank – was named at No 8, with Rassie Erasmus expressing a keen interest to see how the Ulster man goes at the back of the scrum.
Coetzee played eighthman for Ulster on a regular basis this past season and if he goes as well against Argentina as he has done for his club, he could well deliver a timely reminder that he can be effective regardless where he plays in the back row.
Other than Duane Vermeulen, there is no specialist No 8 in the Bok set-up. Adding someone with Coetzee’s pedigree to the mix as cover wouldn’t be the worst thing. He just has to go out and reinforce that point one last time on Saturday.
John Goliath (senior contributor) wants the Boks to slaughter Los Pumas and maintain their momentum ahead of the World Cup.
Rassie Erasmus’ Springboks find themselves in such a good space at the moment and it would be a real shame if some of the feel-good factor is lost because of a defeat by Argentina at Loftus.
Yes, the Boks are fielding a largely second-string outfit, and a defeat shouldn’t have an influence on their World Cup preparations. But victory will just add to the lovely atmosphere and feeling surrounding the team at the moment.
Not too long ago, the Boks were in a terrible space, getting 50-point hidings against the All Blacks and losing to the likes of Italy.
But now they are going toe to toe with New Zealand and have won their first title in 10 years. The team is also fully transformed, and players are blossoming because of opportunities to prove their worth.
A win against Argentina will also help the Boks keep that momentum that they have built up over the last couple of months, and help them go into the World Cup confident of beating anyone.
Photo: Andres Larrovere/AFP Photo