High five



May 27, 2016
High five

PURE BOK: Lock Eben Etzebeth. CREDIT: Sourced

Engine room options galore for Springbok coach Coetzee.

Traditionally, Springbok teams have always had strong packs.

And it will be interesting to see if coach Allister Coetzee ropes in some of South Africa’s overseas-based stars or if he will reward domestic form.

The likes of Jannie and Bismarck du Plessis and Steven Kitshoff are just some of the players that are currently not playing their rugby in South Africa.

At 24, Kitshoff, who has played under Coetzee in Cape Town, should not be discarded.

Domestically, Beast Mtawarira, Lizo Gcoboka and Trevor Nyakane will be among the frontrunners to play at loosehead.

The Bulls’ Marcel van der Merwe, meanwhile, put in a strong performance against the Stormers last weekend but his penalty count might count against him when the selectors pencil in their tighthead prop.

Frans Malherbe, the Stormers’ co-captain, will also come into the equation, and so will Vincent Koch.

In the middle of the front row, Adriaan Strauss should be one of the players in Coetzee’s squad, while rampant Lion Akker van der Merwe and Stormer Bongi Mbonambi have also put in some strong performances.

One thing South Africa does have is quality in the lock department.

Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager and Pieter-Steph du Toit are automatic squad choices, while the Bulls’ RG Snyman has also put in a string of impressive performances.

Overseas, Jacques du Plessis and Paul Willemse have also been doing some sterling work at Montepellier.

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