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….

  1. Willie Le Roux (if Erasmus call him back) or Damien Willemse
  2. Cheslin Kolbe
  3. Jesse Kriel
  4. Handre Pollard
  5. Aphiwe Dyantyi
  6. Elton Jantjies
  7. Embrose Papier
  8. Warren Whiteley
  9. Pieter-Steph du Toit
  10. Siya Kolisi
  11. Franco Mostert
  12. Eben Etzebeth
  13. Wilco Louw
  14. Malcolm Marx
  15. 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?



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  1. I bloody hope he doesn’t play Pollard at 12. That with Kolbe and Dyanti on the wings would be a defensive nightmare… particularly if you add Willemse into the mix.

    Combrink should have been in the mix yesterday.

  2. @bryce_in_oz: I have not been a Pollard at 12 supporter but it does not seem that he will call up a Harold Vorster.

    Esterhuizen is maybe the logical option but he has not impressed me this far. I do not knwo what Combrinck did wrong to be excluded since last year, I have heard that he is a Luke Watson type of player with some issues, but that is rumours I heard

  3. Good article. For Oz:

    1. Kitshoff 2. Marx 3. Louw 4. Etsebeth 5. Snyman
    6. Van Staaden 7. PSDT 8. Kolisi (c)

    9. Papier 10. Pollard
    12. Willemse 13. Kriel
    11. Aphiwe 14. JP Pieterson 15. Kolbe

    Oz will be difficult, but all of them are and they need to build depth.

    For better or worse, they def need to test some options at 9. I’d go papier or kolbe. Need to think outside box here. But kolbe is actually a fullback in France and I think he’s a good swap for WLR. His attacking is also phenomenal and I think he’s better on defense and braver.

    At openside, I’d give Van Staden a start with Kolisi shifting to 8. Pity JLDP not available, as I think he will just make this an even greater side.

    At centre, my ranking are Serfontein, DDA, RjvR, Steyn and Kriel/Am in that order.

    But I also wonder if Willemse could make an outstanding 12. hes also v physical and must come in.

  4. @Jacques: @Jacques:

    Vorster… well I thought I was the only fan… he’s been the form 12 for two seasons (well mostly one).

    Coetzee has definitely been the form 15 for two seasons and I thought it was harsh to drop him from a shit Bok side with two of the worst defending wings in their history…


    You going to drop Whiteley who yet again was a monster not to mention showed exactly what a natural born leader is in that last quarter in the world’s most dangerous rugby territory!

    Kolisi is rudder-less as captain… is not a 6 nor 7… and yet you want to play him out-of-position… oh dear.

    ”Willemse could make an outstanding 12. hes also v physical and must come in.”… Hahahahahahaha!

    You want JLDP there… but where would you play him with the ‘captain’ a political given and PSDT in huge form?

    Kolbe at 9? The guy has never played there at any level ffs.

    ”and I think he’s better on defense and braver.”

    Hahahahahaha… go to the Ben Smith article I posted with defensive GIF’s… Kolbe (like the Orcs in 7’s) had two big-boys sucked in to gang-tackle with him.

  5. Yes, you laughed when I said bokke would lose to Japan and beat the ABs. Erasmus is a slim fox in picking kolbe. Whiteley v good. So too Kolisi.

  6. @cab:

    Hah… you said no such thing about Japan… and you call a Bok win every single week mate… broken clock and all.

  7. You’ve missed the point entirely on the Kolisi handicap… ne’er to be dropped or played off the bench for a real balanced loose-forward trio made up of specialists. Ne’er…

  8. Nkosi is back and he was in great form against England, I will play him ahead of Kolbe.

    It is clear that Rassie is still not happy with what he seen in the centres so far, so yes, it is a bit strange that someone like Vorster has not had a look-in. After the Jantjies / Pollard 10 / 12 combination ended the game against the ABs, it might not be too far fetched for Rassie to try this combination again at some stage.

    I am impressed with Willemse at super rugby level, but I will not start him as fullback in a test as yet, although I am not sure who to play at 15 if Willie is unavailable. Leyds has been very good in the Currie Cup at 15, but apart from that incredible pass he has not been that impressive in the tests he played to date.

  9. @Jacques:

    Have hardly watched much Cheetah’s rugby at all since their move, he’s looked good if not spectacular, particularly in a team that try to run everything. On that same token what happened to Francois Venter… he had some solid games for the Boks during AC’s dire tenure.

    I would take Harold Vorster over pretty much everyone. Big solid centre that covers both 12/13 with aplomb. Exceptional distributor on top of being a solid strike-runner that both steps off both feet and makes it over the advantage line with his deceptive turn of pace. Added he has also played 10 in the past.

    He was excellent against the Baa-baas, has been in form for how many Super seasons already… and only 24!

  10. @bryce_in_oz: I really rate Vorster and would probably play him at 12 over anyone, not at 13 though, as he lacks out and out pace for 13. Vorster is slow, has all the hallmarks of a great center, except pace.

  11. @Aldo:

    You keep saying that about his pace but there are numerous examples in the highlights packages of him out-blitzing many speedsters from Rieko Ione to Nkosi. I reckon he’s simply got one of those upright styles that make him ‘look’ slower than he is. His stop-start acceleration looks exceptional on top of his eyes for both taking a gap, running lines/angles and putting his outside away into those gaps…

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