Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee expects flyhalf Elton Jantjies to show an improvement in form when they tackle Argentina in Salta on Saturday.
Jantjies copped flak for an erratic display in last weekend’s 30-23 Rugby Championship win over the Pumas in Nelspruit, but the coach has kept faith in his pivot ahead of this weekend’s clash.
“You’ve got to give Elton Jantjies enough opportunity and support. It’s only his sixth Test cap as a 10, I think his fourth as a starter. So he’s also learning lessons... hopefully the progress will come this weekend,” Coetzee said after naming his team on Wednesday.
Morne Steyn has been preferred to Juan de Jongh on the bench to provide flyhalf cover in case Jantjies has another off day.
Fullback Johan Goosen can also slot in at flyhalf, but Coetzee does not want to put extra pressure on the Racing 92 utility back, who also had an indifferent Test last week.
“Both him (Jantjies) and Johan Goosen are basically attacking minded players. I would like Johan to focus on 15 at this point in time and not see him as a back-up 10 because he’s just joined us a week or so ago. There are a few things that he will have to get used to. It’s too important at Test level now for him to be thinking (about) playing 15 and 10.
“(No) 10 is a pivotal position and you need to have a calm head there - therefore Morne Steyn can come off the bench if needed and do the job for us.
“We expect them to try and put us under pressure with their tactical kicking. Morne is an experienced player with good kicking attributes, and he will provide an additional kicking cover for us.
“I just feel that Morne brings a lot of calmness, in a sense of appreciating the conditions here in Salta. He proved last year with his kicking prowess that he can turn a side like Argentina around. He can capitalise when the opportunity is there to put points on the board. He’s done that and he’s been around. He’s an experienced player."
Kick-off for Saturday’s Test is scheduled for 21:40 (SA time).
15 Johan Goosen, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Jaco Kriel, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Morne Steyn, 23, Jesse Kriel