Duane should play off bench



June 6, 2016
Duane should play off bench

MUST START: Lionel Mapoe. CREDIT: Sourced

I’d rather start with Whiteley against Ireland.

It’s all coming together for the Springboks now ahead of their first Test under Allister Coetzee at Newlands on Saturday.

But what should his run-on team look like for the encounter?

It’s clear that Willie le Roux will run the last line of defence from the fullback position.

What is interesting is who Coetzee will select to partner him in the back three.

The experience of JP Pietersen can’t be ignored, while the form of Ruan Combrinck will make it difficult to tell the Lions player he is missing out on a possible international debut.

Lwazi Mvovo is the only left winger in the side and if Coetzee doesn’t decide to convert one of his right wings, Mvovo should start the match.

It would be wise then to start with Combrinck, who can also slot in at fullback, on the bench.

As for the midfield, Lionel Mapoe’s form suggests that he pick himself at outside centre and with Jan Serfontein ruled out of the Incoming Series, Damian de Allende should partner with Mapoe.

At flyhalf, you’d think that Pat Lambie would be first choice, with Elton Jantjies still recovering from injury.

With little international experience behind the base of the scrum, it will again have to be the form book that will be looked at and here it would make sense if Faf de Klerk cracks the nod.

Then at No.8, it’s probably where Coetzee’s biggest headache lies.

Does he go for Duane Vermeulen, who only joined the squad along with Steven Kitshoff and Francois Louw yesterday, or does he go with Lions captain Warren Whiteley?

It would make sense to me if he played the eight-nine of Whiteley and De Klerk. To have his franchise skipper in front of him will go a long way in making Faf feel at home.

As for the flankers, Siya Kolisi should surely be seen as the future in the No.7 jumper, while the experience of Louw and his ability to disrupt opposition ball might be called on.

Eben Etzebeth and Lood de Jager will have to prove to the country that they can be the kind of blood brothers Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield were – a feat that has no doubt been made even more difficult with the pair botsing at Newlands two weeks ago.

Adriaan Strauss will lead the team from the hooker position, and will probably be propped up by the Sharks’ Beast Mtawarira and Cape Town strong man Frans Malherbe.

My possible Bok starting XV: Willie le Roux, JP Pietersen, Lionel Mapoe, Damian de Allende, Lwazi Mvovo, Pat Lambie, Faf de Klerk, Warren Whiteley, Siya Kolisi, Francois Louw, Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Adriaan Strauss and Beast Mtawarira.

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