Rugby Championship

Flo 'not sure' about Jaco Kriel comparison

2017-09-29 09:50
Jaco Kriel (Gallo Images)

Bloemfontein - Francois Louw's inclusion in the Springbok set-up for the final two games of the Rugby Championship came as a direct result of an injury to Jaco Kriel

The Lions flank picked up the injury in the 23-23 draw against Australia earlier this month and was sent home for surgery. 

In his absence, Jean-Luc du Preez came in at No 7 for that disastrous day in Albany where the Boks were smashed 57-0, but coach Allister Coetzee felt the need for a more suitable replacement. 

The call to Louw was made, and he the Bath stalwart will earn his 53rd Test cap when he takes to the field in a crucial Rugby Championship clash against the Wallabies in Bloemfontein. 

Ever since Louw's call-up, comparisons have been made between him and Kriel. Both are workhorses, both are effective on the ground and both are solid defensively. 

But when asked about the similarities between himself and Kriel at the Springbok team hotel on Thursday, Louw was not overly convinced they were that much alike. 

"I don't know. I think Jaco is a great player. I think we play a little bit of a different game, to be honest. We've all got our strengths and weaknesses," he said.

"He's been fantastic for the Boks. There is no doubt that he's a solid Springbok. A lot of guys get a couple of games and sort of disappear off the scene but he's taken his opportunities and done really well. He's definitely a loss for the side."

The difference, Louw suggested, was the Kriel is more of a ball-carrying loose forward while Louw's greatest asset was the work he does on the ground.

"That's obviously the way I like to play (towards the ball)," said Louw.

"Jaco is pretty good at the breakdown when he does decide to go. He does enjoy a ball carry just as much, though, and getting involved in the backs.

"He's solid on defence ... an area I think all loose forwards enjoy. He is not a man that goes backwards all that often in the tackle."

Louw will wear the No 7 jersey, meaning that Siya Kolisi will stay at No 6 and Uzair Cassiem at No 8.

"Siya has had a great season. He's an explosive player, exciting on attack and he gets the job done on defence," said Louw, before turning his attention to No 8 Uzair Cassiem.

"Uzair is a new guy who I haven't got to play with yet. It's been great to get to know him this week and I think he's done a pretty solid job stepping in for Warren at No 8."

This will be the fifth different loose forward combination the Boks use in 2017.

Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.

Teams:

South Africa

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6, Francois Louw, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende

Australia

15 Israel Folau, 14 Marika Koroibete, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio

Substitutes (from): 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Lukhan Tui, 21 Ned Hanigan, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Samu Kerevi, 24 Henry Speight

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