Embattled Springbok coach Allister Coetzee will sit with the same problem he had last year when he goes into the international season after flyhalf Handre Pollard injured his ankle in Bulls training on Thursday and has been ruled out of action for up to 10 weeks.
Pollard has gradually been regaining form in the first seven rounds of Super Rugby after he missed the whole of last season with knee and shoulder injuries.
He will probably need surgery on his ankle. Coetzee is faced with a three Test series against France in June which he has to win in order to hang on to his job.
But it looks likely he will have to play Elton Jantjies at flyhalf.
Coetzee started his tenure as Springbok coach in a similar position last year, with both 2015 World Cup flyhalves, Pollard and Pat Lambie, out injured.
Sharks flyhalf Lambie is out of action again, having fractured a vertebra five weeks ago and is three weeks away from returning to play.
While Jantjies has been a star performer for the Lions in Super Rugby over the past couple of years, last year he struggled to adapt to the more conservative game plan Coetzee is using at Test level.
But the No 10 green and gold jersey will now surely be his own property with the only other realistic challenger for the flyhalf position being Curwin Bosch.
But the 19-year-old Sharks prodigy is more likely to be slotted in at fullback.
The extremely talented Bosch is not the fiercest defender in the front-on collisions that will inevitably come at Test level but he is now more than likely going to have to add being the flyhalf backup to his duties when he makes his Springbok debut, as expected, in June.
Coetzee also yesterday received the bad news that Rohan Janse van Rensburg, in hot form for the Lions at inside centre, has been ruled out of action for three months with a knee injury.
The Springboks will take on France in Tests in Pretoria, Durban and Johannesburg from June 10 to 24.
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