Sport Staff
3 minute read
25 Sep 2017
8:27 am

Four player changes the Springboks need to make

Sport Staff

The national team is back in camp for the home leg of the Rugby Championship and are ripe for a few personnel changes.

Dillyn Leyds is surely in line for his run-on debut for the Springboks. Photo: Gallo Images.

The Springboks are back in camp as they prepare for Saturday’s Rugby Championship meeting with the Wallabies in Bloemfontein.

South Africa has had more than a week to contemplate the 57-0 pasting handed to them by the magnificent All Blacks and coach Allister Coetzee called up three additional members to the squad last week.

But that’s simply not enough.

There’ll need to be actual changes made to the starting XV for the Springboks to improve.

Here are four suggestions.

Dillyn Leyds (for Raymond Rhule)

The Stormers and Western Province winger actually demonstrates South African rugby’s problem of having small wingers but that’s not his fault.

Leyds is a man who looks tirelessly for work when he’s not able to show off his attacking talents.

He’s probably not the greatest tackler yet it’s unlikely he’ll miss 9 in one game like the hesitant Rhule.

More importantly, Leyds isn’t afraid to follow his own head in creating something from nothing.

The Springboks need a guy who’s willing to take a risk as their attacking pattern has perhaps been too structured.

Francois Louw (for Jean-Luc du Preez)

He’s 32 and local rugby fans aren’t always keen on older players (especially from overseas) but Louw will add value to the Springboks’ loose trio.

With 52 caps under his name, the Bath flanker provides not only experience but proven class.

Indeed, Coetzee’s 2017 Boks have been known more for their collective spirit than outrageous talent and can do with an injection of stars like Louw.

The smart thing about his selection is that he, currently, is a direct replacement for the injured Jaco Kriel.

He’s a tireless tackler who scavenges at the breakdown while also lending a hand in being a link on the attack.

Louw is a must for Bloemfontein.

Trevor Nyakane (for Ruan Dreyer)

The Springboks need to admit that their stocks at tighthead are probably thin.

So when Coenie Oosthuizen got injured in Australasia, it was a far bigger blow than some people were willing to admit.

Given that there’s nothing else the coaching staff can really do, they might as well afford Nyakane a chance.

The Bulls made a concerted effort to pick the 28-year-old in the No 3 jersey during Super Rugby in order for him to settle.

Nyakane had previously been shifted between loosehead and tighthead.

He’s been praised for his fitness and attitude and, if anything, the Springboks need now determine whether Nyakane is a tighthead once and for all.

They might as well do it now.

Ross Cronje (for Francois Hougaard)

This change will happen.

But the reason why he’s still mentioned is because the Lions scrumhalf’s return will do much to bring out the best in Elton Jantjies again.

The Springboks flyhalf has delivered his best performances at international level with his provincial partner next to him.

Some might argue it casts Jantjies’ ability to adapt in a poor light but one has to remember that he hasn’t really been given the greatest support by Francois Hougaard, who’s been dropped.