Serfontein vs De Allende

The two Springbok contenders will have influential roles to play for their teams in Saturday's big Vodacom Super Rugby match at Loftus Versfeld, writes BRENTON CHELIN.

Damian de Allende was perhaps the form South African backline player during the 2014 Super Rugby season. While his team struggled for consistency, the imposing De Allende often stood out – whether on the wing or at centre.

This year, with the enforced absence of Jean de Villiers, he'll be handed extended playing time in his preferred No 12 jersey, where he'll be hoping to settle after the World Cup. His physicality on attack will provide a nice foil for the fleet-footed Juan de Jongh. However, his defence will have to be up to the task on Saturday, as the Bulls will look to exploit the inside channel alongside Demetri Catrakilis.

Jan Serfontein, along with a couple of the Bulls heavies, has the ability to punch holes in the normally watertight Stormers defence. The Springbok incumbent fared well on the Boks' end-of-year tour, but he'll need to add some attacking impetus to his game if he's to provide a long-term option at international level.

Serfontein, despite his lean years, holds the advantage in terms of experience, and with the Loftus faithful behind him, he'll be difficult to stop.

If the Bulls can get things going early on, Serfontein could find himself in a good position to land the first blow in the scrap for the Springbok No 12 jersey.

Photos: Ryan Wilkisky/Gerhard Steenkamp/BackpagePix