Laaste kans

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November 22, 2016
Laaste kans

TROUBLED: Boss Allister Coetzee

Tour is done, so field rookies against Wales.

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee will be a desperate man when they face Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.

Winless on their tour of Europe to date, the Springboks suffered a humiliating 20-18 first-time defeat to Italy last weekend, leading to calls for the Springbok coach’s head.

With his back to the wall and facing a review by his Saru bosses, Coetzee has to pull out all the stops if he wants to save his job.

A win alone over the Dragons will not be enough, what he has to do is give South Africa a glimpse of the future and then win.

That means get rid of the 30-somethings in the squad and field players who will actually still be there at the 2019 World Cup.

In the backline it starts with veteran winger Bryan Habana.

At 33, he won’t be in Japan 2019 and the only way Coetzee can build experience is by giving the second-stringers a chance at the top level.

Jamba Ulengo has all the attributes to make it at the top level and bringing him in at the expense of Habana must be a consideration this week.

Flanker Willem Alberts, 32, should be next to go.

Yes the options are few at flank, but if Coetzee is going to continue using the old guard and then still taste defeat, he is setting himself up for the axe.

Giving Uzair Cassiem a run in the match-23 might not be such a bad idea.

Then you have the front-rankers.

In the middle of it all is Adriaan Strauss, a captain that has failed as a leader and a star hooker throughout the year.

This will be Strauss’ final match for the Springboks if selected, and maybe it’s time for Coetzee to give the captain’s armband to Warren Whiteley and start a player like Malcolm Marx at hooker.

Next to him, Beast Mtawarira has actually not been that bad on the tour, but it would be refreshing to see Steven Kitshoff making his first international start this weekend.

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