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RugbyU: Boks want Jantjies to 'boss' must-win Test

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Newsdeck

RugbyU: Boks want Jantjies to ‘boss’ must-win Test

By AFP
17 Jun 2016 0

New South Africa coach Allister Coetzee wants fly-half Elton Jantjies to be the 'boss' when they face Ireland Saturday in a must-win Johannesburg Test.

The Springboks were shocked 26-20 last weekend at the start of the three-international series despite having a one-man advantage for 57 minutes after Irish forward CJ Stander was red-carded.

Another South African defeat, at Ellis Park, would give Ireland overall success, reduce the final Test in Port Elizabeth on June 25 to a ‘dead rubber’, and be a disastrous start to the four-year contract of Coetzee.

The inclusion of 26-year-old Jantjies, the outstanding South African playmaker in Super Rugby this season, is one of two injury enforced changes to the Cape Town starting line-up.

He replaces Patrick Lambie, whose mid-air collision with South Africa-born Stander led to the red-card and a one-Test ban after a marathon two-day disciplinary hearing.

Lock Lood de Jager, who has by his own admission not being having a great Super Rugby season with strugglers Central Cheetahs, suffered a calf injury and Pieter-Steph du Toit takes his place.

Although Golden Lion Jantjies was first capped by the Springboks more than three years ago, this will be only his fourth appearance and his first as a starter

Renowned as a fly-half who loves to run and pass, Coetzee is demanding more from him on his home provincial ground.

The coach who succeeded Heyneke Meyer two months ago and made his Test debut in Cape Town, wants flair, intelligent tactical kicking and game management from Jantjies.

“I want Elton to be the boss, to take control of the game and manage it well,” he explained. “I expect him to get us to play in the right areas of the field.

“I want Elton to be clever, to make good decisions, to run when that is the right option, and to kick when necessary,” added Coetzee.

The coach confessed he is concerned about the expectations surrounding Jantjies, whose adventurous style contrasts sharply with a more cautious, kick-orientated approach of many South African fly-halves.

“There will be a view that because Elton is there we must have attacking flair at all costs and at all times. I know he can run, but I also know he can manage a game.”

Although the triumph last weekend was the first by Ireland in eight Tests in South Africa, New Zealand-born coach Joe Schmidt has made five personnel changes to the starting team with one enforced.

Banned Stander is replaced by Rhys Ruddock and in other changes among the forwards, prop Tadhg Furlong and lock Quinn Roux come in for Mike Ross and Jordi Murphy.

There is also a positional switch with first Test lock Iain Henderson moving to loose forward to accommodate Roux, another South Africa-born member of the Irish squad.

In the backline, centre Luke Marshall and winger Keith Earls give way for Stuart Olding and Craig Gilroy respectively.

Schmidt listed altitude — Johannesburg is 1,750 metres (5,750 feet) above sea level — and the need for fresh legs at the end of a long season as some of the reasons for the changes.

“I am hoping that the players who are coming in will provide pleasant surprises just as the team did in Cape Town last weekend,” said the coach.

“It is a huge challenge for the team this Saturday to match what the players put into the game last weekend.”

dl/dj

© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

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