Home November Internationals We pick our test side for Saturday

We pick our test side for Saturday


With the disappointment of the lost against England in the past we look forward to how Rassie Erasmus will react this weekend against France.

There are a few returning players to the squad which will boost the starting team for Erasmus.

Ruggaworld team have each selected the teams they would like to see running out against the French.

Here is there teams and some kind of explanation why they picked certain players.


Just like we’ve done with the Poms, we will most likely bully the French forwards and dominate upfront.

We do however need both Marx and Vermeulen to up their game and dominate the ruck as this is an area where the Boks struggled a lot.

I’ve kept Etzebeth out as I personally think he should fully recover from his injury and another week should do the trick.

Du Toit back on the flank where is has been playing his best rugby lately.

In the backs Faf will ignite the backs and give the backs quick ball, something van Zyl struggled with last week.

Looking for a more expansive game from Pollard and De Allende, although they have crossed the advantage line on several occasions, they have also missed a lot of overlap opportunities.

With Le Roux back in the mix it gives the Bok backline a second decision maker which will keep the French defenders on their toes.

A very strong bench with a lot enough experience to make a decent impact in the second half.

My Team: 1. Steven Kitchoff, 2. Malcolm Marx, 3. Vincent Koch, 4. RG Snyman, 5. Franco Mostert, 6. Siya Kolisi, 7. PS Du Toit, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 9. Faf De Klerk, 10. Handre Pollard, 11. Aphiwe Dyanti, 12. Damien De Allende, 13. Jessie Kriel, 14. Cheslin Kolbe, 15. Willie Le Roux

Replacements: 16. Bongi Mbonambi, 17. Wilco Louw, 18. Trevor Nyakane, 19. Lood De Jager, 20. Francios Louw, 21. Louis Schreuder, 22. Andre Esterhuizen, 23. Damien Willemse


I feel that the Boks will be kicking themselves after losing at Twickenham, in a game that should have been a 20 point beating for the hosts.

The refereeing error is well documented, and I’m sure that will add extra fury into the bloodstream of the Boks, for Saturday.

They will know however, that the setpiece malfunction of last week, cannot be repeated.

A 22:00 kick-off in Paris is notoriously awkward, as it differs so vastly from the normal match day routines for the side.

Weather will be frost like, and playing in the bowl like stadium has its issues when the wind swirls. It’s a beautiful playing surface and conducive to positive rugby.

Overall I expect the Boks to win, relatively comfortably.

The French will be in tears during Le Marseilles, and breathe fire for the first twenty minutes. Thereafter our pack should regain control and set the platform for a routine win

My Team: 15 Willie Le Roux, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damien de Allende,  11 Aphiwe Dyantyi,  10 Handre Pollard,  9 Faf de Klerk,  8 Duane Vermeulen,  7 Pieter Steph du Toit,  6 Siya Kolisi,  5 Franco Mostert,  4 RG Snyman, 3 Wilco Louw,  2 Malcolm Marx,  1 Steven Kitsoff

Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Thomas du Toit,  18 Trevor Nyakane,  19 Lood de Jager,  20 Warren Whiteley,  21 Embrose Papier,  22 Cheslin Kolbe,  23 Damien Willemse


We will dominate the scrums, line outs(if we don’t throw on 6, 😂) and lose play.

Flo will be a great add to the fetcher role and tight five will insure that we have forward momentum.

With Faf back behind them, there should be great feed to the backline.

Pollard is playing a game where he needs to control play and with the attacking ability of De Allende and Kriel on his out side, it should be enough on attack for the Boks.

If we get the ball out wide, the speed and skill of the back three should be enough to run havoc amongst the French.

Our bench is at the same playing level as the starting lineup.

There shouldn’t be a worry if any player is subbed, Schreuder has shown in the CC final that he can play under pressure and will be a great sub for Faf.

My Team: 1 Steven Kitshoff, 2 Malcom Marx, 3 Vincent Koch, 4 Pieter Steph Du Toit, 5 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi, 7 Francois Louw, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 9 Faf de Klerk, 10 Handre Pollard, 11Aphiwe Dyantyi, 12 Damian de Allende, 13 Jesse Kriel, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 15 Willie le Roux

Replacements: 16 Wilco Louw, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Bongi Mbonambi, 19 JD Schickerling/RG Snyman, 20 Warren Whiteley, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Cheslin Kolbe, 23 Damian Willemse


While much has been made of the Owen Farrel tackle on Satruday the Springboks know full well they blew a great opportunity to notch up a win at HQ and bank the confidence and bragging rights that come with it.

Ideally Rassie would have liked to keep his overseas based Boks as bench options and given his starters of last week a go at the French who once again dug their trenches and lay in waiting at an icy cold Stade de France but that is not an option.

This game is a must win and it will happen at a less hospitable venue, a 9pm kick off with an icy breeze will numb the spirits and and fingertips of even the most seasoned veterans and if the French have an edge , their vocal crowd will be another player on the field for them.

The Springboks will need to come out spitting venom, fire and a healthy dose of brimstone to take this one and for this reason I believe Rassie will have guile and grunt in equal measure with Faf de Klerk leading the orchestra of chaos.

Kolbe comes straight into the team on the basis of playing in France as well as adding to the strike and kicking options while we load the bench with impact aplenty.

My Team: 1. Steven Kitshoff, 2. Malcolm Marx, 3. Vincent Koch, 4. Eben Etzebeth( RG Snyman), 5. Franco Mostert, 6. Siya Kolisi, 7. Pieter Steph Du Toit, 8. Duane Vermuelen,  9. Faf de Klerk, 10. Handre Pollard, 11. Aphiwe Dyanti, 12. Damian de Allende, 13. Jesse Kriel, 14. Cheslin Kolbe, 15. Willie Le Roux

Replacements: 16. Bongi Mbonambi, 17. Trevor Nyakane, 18. Frans Malherbe, 19. Lood de Jager, 20. Warren Whiteley, 21. Eben Etzebeth, 22. Louis Schreduer, 23. Damian Willemse

* Disclaimer –  I know Schreuder wont be on the bench, i just feel he is suited to some tactical play and would go well with Pollard


As a start bringing back some of the first choice players.

In my selection I have gone for players in their preferred positions.

No place for Whiteley in the starting 15 and Marx gets a rest to think about his misfire last week.

Gone for a heavier back row to keep the Springboks going forward.

In the backline Faf is back, gone for Kolbe on the right wing to bring a different attacking weapon and Willie is back for his ability to see and capitalise on opportunities.

Bench provides different options to what is available on the field and can lift pace when they come on, not just like for like replacements.

Damien Willemse cover both 10 and 15 for me.

My Team: 1 Steven Kitshoff, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 3 Vincent Koch, 4 Eben Etsebeth (if fit) / Schickerling, 5 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi, 7 Pieter-Steph Du Toit, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 9 Faf de Klerk, 10 Handre Pollard, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 12 Damian de Allende, 13 Jesse Kriel, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 15 Willie le Roux

Replacements: 16 Wilco Louw, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Malcolm Marx, 19 JD Schickerling / Lood de Jager, 20 Warren Whiteley, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22  Ruhan Nel, 23 Damian Willemse

Facebook Comments


  1. “Just like we’ve done with the Poms, we will most likely bully the French forwards and dominate upfront. ” – I think I saw a different game on Saturday?
    “I feel that the Boks will be kicking themselves after losing at Twickenham” – they will miss anyway!
    Unfortunately the AA KPI is creeping up on Rassie – and while he might have planned to load the team with non-whites against Scotland, there is no way he can only have 3 in the run-on team. I would select Papier and Willemse for run-on, and have Faf and Willie on bench (we know what we have in them anyway).
    For sure go with Bongi (leave Marx in locker room – where he will try in vain to throw a tantrum).
    And PSdT on flanker (Flo on bench, unless Rassie can get his hands on those nude photos before the game).
    I will give Nkosi another chance – unless injured – and RG before the WP dude.

  2. (leave Marx in locker room – where he will try in vain to throw a tantrum). – HAHAHA rofl

    Regarding experience and minutes at this level: I would start Nyakane, Bongi and Koch, locks rest Eben and play Lood/RG with Mostert on the bench, PSDT, Vermeulen and Kolisi to keep some continuity with Whiteley on the bench.
    Papier at 9 with Faf benched
    10 Polly
    12/13 DDA and Kriel – need time together IMO
    back 3 same as vs England with Willie on the bench – we know what we have in Willy/Faf/Eben/Mostert


  3. I’d go Koch at 3, papier at 9 with schreuder off bench, Willemse into 10, Esterhuizen at 13 to partner DDA. Ideally I’d have JLDP to give bokke pack sone bloody go-forward. We don’t want Yster injured. No need to overplay, RG snyman mostert and Schitterling be good (no van zyl or de jäger for me in NH conditions)

  4. 1st half was dominance , but Boks gotta convert that pressure into points. Not just marx’s throwing but the ball retention and control was not good. There were also turnovers by England by curry,etc. I certainly don’t think Flo is the remedy to that. Think there needs to be a specialist Bok fetcher on the bench against certain teams. The cleanouts from Kolisi were great but needs more of that.

  5. There was go-forward only from DDA – the Bok pack is a beast but I maintain it’s missing an Alberts or JLDP or DanieSaurus. Basically what vunipola brings to England.

  6. @cab:
    Our forwards also got a lot of go-forward but van Zyl (probably due to tactics) slowed down our ball, had a cup of tea annd the kicked it away or passed it to a static player with Eng D set up…
    Faf would have speeded it up and we might have been able to score some points.
    It came across that van Zyl was afraid of making mistakes?

  7. @Jacques:
    before crucifying van Zyl we should ask ourselves was it tactical (message from coach)?
    What we see on tv is not always clear tactically… was it a bad decision or a planned tactical decision (coach)?
    van Zyl may not have been great on the weekend but I still rate him higher than most 9’s in SA if he plays a game that he is suited to…

  8. PS: imagine Papier started with same tactics – we would be all over him for slowing it down,
    If it was not tactical and van Zyl played that way on his own accord the leadership on field (Kolisi/Pollard) should have been in his ear! They were not which tells me it was per-meditated. Which opens up the Q why did Kolisi etc. not change the tactics??
    IMO because it was working – we were dominating but not scoring, we were ahead most of the game by 2 points… if we were behind by 10 I think the tactical change would have come.

  9. @Oupa Joe: Agree JT, Said it on Sunday not happy with Rassie tactics against England, and seems like we did not had a plan-b as well.

    My problem was that Van Zyl even in Bulls side this year was not a great kicker of the ball, and he is too slow for me at international nine, but I am no expert in 9 play so it is only an observation

  10. @Jacques:
    That is just it – we always looked in control (game and points – close) and only realized too late to change the plan with Papier coming on with a few minutes to go.
    It happened to me in an Austria league final – we were playing well and I did not want to change anything because it was close. If I changed our plan and we lost it, would be my fault, we did not change it and we lost so also my fault as coach…

  11. @Jacques:

    Ja well you learn by doing and I expect Rassie is also learning by doing at TEST level.
    The change I did not make in that final was swap my 10 and 13. Both played a lot of 1st receiver and at our level it was useful because our 10 was the more physical player giving go forward and with quick ruck we had our distributing 13 as 1st receiver who could try and use the space out wide. with 20 to go we were behind in a close game and I was thinking about swapping the 2 because our 10 was getting covered pretty well and they slowed down our ball a lot better so our outside backs started being ineffective. What stopped me from doing this was that our 10 needed to get the ball to 13 in one phase and would probably get intercepted or would probably not get that go-forward ball and we might get exposed and lose possession. Of course there was a lot more going on but that was one of the tactics I wanted to change. To get 13 to break outside the midfield and try and off-load to a winger (which was not his strong skill set) so I stayed with original plan but like against Eng the original plan was worked out by the oppo and we could not turn the game by doing the same thing… lesson learned.
    Rather change and lose than lose doing the same thing

  12. Yip think Rassie also got SA disease of kick-chase scrumhalves. Hoping he will change and be more receptive to attacking rugby with Swys there. Get the ball quick. Go-forward, clear out , quick feed – rinse and repeat.

  13. JT – Ja even better.
    But kick-chase, fok die hond, asb nee.
    I want to throttle scrumhalf every time I see it.
    The one I changing my mind on is Esterhuizen – dude runs hard. I’d like to see him together with DDA, and Willemse at 10. I like handy too, but I get the feeling that Willemse is an out-an-out elusive playmaker and with DDA and Esterhuizen together – Boks be dangerous as hell.

  14. 1. Kitsy 2. Marx. 3. Koch 4. schitterling 5. RG 6. PsDT 7. Kolisi 8. Vermeulen

    9. Papier 10. Willemse
    12. DDA 13. Esterhuizen
    11. Aphiwe 14. Sbu 15. WLR/ kolbe

    Be brave – let’s develop depth for RWC , which is what I thought was meant to be the plan all along.

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