Lions scouting for flyhalf
Johannesburg – John Mitchell is looking for a flyhalf that can be an attacking weapon for the Lions in the Currie Cup.
That is why he has decided to pick teenager Elton Jantjes for Saturday’s clash against the Blue Bulls at Coca-Cola Park.
There is a lot of excitement about the young pivot in Johannesburg.
However, the youngster has a big challenge ahead as he will carry an immense responsibility on his shoulders in the key position.
Lions coach John Mitchell does not believe Jantjes is being fed to the wolves.
“Elton has been part of our squad for four weeks and has a lot of confidence. We want strike power at flyhalf. Apart from that he can control games and see space on the field. He has a great future,” Mitchell said on Thursday.
Jantjes’s inclusion is at the expense of Herkie Kruger, who is not even a substitute.
Reserve flyhalf Carlos Spencer is a full 16 years older than Jantjes, but may also be making his Currie Cup debut.
“We have picked Carlos and Elton because we want to be more ambitious on attack. Then there is also Jano Vermaak, who poses a threat.
If your scrumhalf and flyhalf are danger men, it brings a great deal more uncertainty to your opponent’s defence,” said Mitchell.
Vermaak and inside centre Doppies la Grange will have to draw on their experience to help Jantjes along. With La Grange back in the side, Waylon Murray will move to outside centre.
It is his usual position, but the first time that he will play there for his new union.
Mitchell has also made two more changes to his side. JC Janse van Rensburg is back after his ankle injury. He will play loosehead prop, with Kevin Buys shifting across to the tighthead spot in place of Ross Geldenhuys.
Captain and flank Franco van der Merwe will move to lock at the expense of David Bulbring.
Trevor Hall also gets his first start – as a flank – since his return from France.
Mitchell says the changes are down to him wanting stronger ball-carriers in his pack. Another interesting inclusion was that of 20-year-old fetching flank Jaco Kriel on the substitutes bench.
Lions v Blue Bulls, Johannesburg - 17:05
Jaco Taute, 14. Deon van Rensburg, 13. Waylon Murray, 12. Doppies la
Grange, 11. Michael Killian, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Jano Vermaak, 8.
Warren Whiteley, 7. Trevor Hall, 6. Derek Minnie, 5. Franco van der
Merwe (captain), 4. George Earle, 3. Kevin Buys, 2. Martin
Bezuidenhout, 1. JC Janse van Rensburg
Edgar Marutlulle, 17. Ross Geldenhuys, 18. David Bulbring, 19. Jaco
Kriel, 20. Chris Jonck, 21. Carlos Spencer, 22. Marius Delport
Jaco van der Westhuyzen, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Stephan
Dippenaar, 12. Stefan Watermeyer, 11. John Mametsa, 10. Jacques-Louis
Potgieter, 9. Francois Hougaard, 8. Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 7. Derick
Kuun, 6. Dewald Potgieter, 5. Petrus Johannes Juandre Kruger, 4. Flip
van der Merwe, 3. Werner Kruger, 2. Gary Botha (captain), 1. Dean
Replacements: 16. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17. Bees
Roux, 18. Fudge Mabeta, 19. Christiaan Johan Stander, 20. Ruan Snyman,
21. Francois Brummer, 22. Hayden Gareth Groepes