June 21, 2016

Springboks' Notshe and Kriel.

Notshe & Kriel battle for No.8 role.

We’d eight to be Springbok coach Allister Coetzee.

Injuries may force him to go with rookies Jaco Kriel and Sikhumbuzo Notshe due to doubts over Duane Vermeulen (elbow) and Warren Whiteley (shoulder) respectively.

Both players, along with prop Trevor Nyakane, will be assessed today again after suffering injuries in the 32-26 win over Ireland at Ellis Park last weekend.

And if one of them fails to prove their fitness ahead of the third Test in Port Elizabeth, it will open the door for the uncapped Kriel and Notshe.

But who will the coach go for?

The Stormers’ Notshe has played at No.8 before, while Coetzee admits that the Lions’ Kriel’s X-factor can no longer be ignored at national level.

Coetzee told reporters: “I really rate Jaco Kriel. He is a player with real X-factor. We just need to see him tested at the next level, but I am sure he will come through that test. That is why I selected him.”

But Kriel is not a No.8 and Coetzee adds: “He [Kriel] is an openside flank. I will have to see which of the other loose-forwards can possibly play No.8 if we need them to in an emergency.

“Francois Louw or Siya Kolisi. We also have Sikhumbuzo Notshe in the squad and he can play there.”

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