With Am, De Allende and Mapimpi out of the last two test in the Championship, Rassie Erasmus has some decisions to make ahead of the next week test against Australia.
Although Wasp director of rugby said that Willie Le Roux are available for the Boks, it is highly unlikely that Rassie will call the fullback back from England.
With the Premiership only ending in June next year, player management will be as important as getting the correct mix of his squad for next year’s World Cup.
Beside from Willie Le Roux, Francois Louw also returned to his English club last week which also make him unavailable for the remaining test.
The question now is which way Erasmus will go when he announce his squad for the home leg of the Rugby Championship.
There should not be any changes in the tight five but we can see a different combination in the loose trio with Louw not available but this may openen the door for Van Staaden to get a proper change either in the starting line-up or some good playing time from the bench.
Faf De Klerk have played almost every test this year and we could see Papier get some game time in PE against the Aussies. De Klerk had some brilliant test but also some poor one’s as well.
If De Klerk is our number one nine then it is time to get the number two and giving that player game time.
With the current nines in the squad we have three different players in De Klerk, Papier and Cronje, but that means nothing if Cronje and Papier warm the bench in every single test. At some stage you need to trust the rest and give them a proper run.
The number ten jumper is also not sorted out with Pollard and Jantjies playing musical chairs at the moment. There has been some thought to try Jantjies at ten and Pollard at thirteen against the Aussies but we will have to wait and see if Erasmus will go that way.
The two had a chance against the All Blacks in Wellington in that combination and did not play badly at all. With De Allende and Am out due to injury it may be an option Erasmus can try against the Aussies.
Outside centre will most properly be Kriel in the final two test and if Erasmus does not go with a Jantjies at ten and Pollard at twelve we most properly will see Etserhuizen and Kriel making up the midfield.
The back three will see major changes with Le Roux most properly not playing and Mapimpi injured. There is speculation that Willemse may get the nod at fifteen but Erasmus also have Kolbe to fill the position if Le Roux is not going to return.
Kolbe can also fill the void on the wing with Willemse taking up the fullback spot.
Leyds who has been playing great rugby for Province in the Currie Cup may be a surprising call-up to the squad. Pietersen has also played some good rugby for Province on the wing which may be and option.
If I had to pick a team then my team to take on the Aussies in PE it would look something like this….
- Willie Le Roux (if Erasmus call him back) or Damien Willemse
- Cheslin Kolbe
- Jesse Kriel
- Handre Pollard
- Aphiwe Dyantyi
- Elton Jantjies
- Embrose Papier
- Warren Whiteley
- Pieter-Steph du Toit
- Siya Kolisi
- Franco Mostert
- Eben Etzebeth
- Wilco Louw
- Malcolm Marx
- Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, RG Snyman, Frans Malherbe, Tendai Mtawarira, Van Staaden, Faf De Klerk, Andre Esterhuizen, Leyds
What team will you like to see starting against the Aussie?