Former Bok coach Jake White says there isn’t an exact science when it comes to the art of making good substitutions.
This season, Rassie Erasmus has come in for criticism at times over the manner in which he has deployed the Bok replacements.
Touching on the subject in his column for AllOutRugby, White suggested that flexibility was required when it came to assessing when it would be best to make use of the bench players.
‘The art of making good substitutions changes all the time. Certain players are better off the bench than starting Test matches, and if you’re going to embrace the advantages of having a match-day 23, there’ll be guys on the bench who come on and make a massive difference.
‘But a player’s impact off the bench is influenced by too many factors to make it safe to tell that guy he’s definitely going to get a certain amount of game time before the match.
‘Some guys make an impact dependent on the team you’re playing against, for other players the conditions play a part – the time remaining, the score, weather and the way the ref is managing the game. And that’s why there’s an art to making good substitutions – you can’t decide pre-game who is going on, when.’
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