Rugby Championship

Leyds' big Bok moment has arrived

2017-09-30 10:27
Dillyn Leyds (Gallo)

Bloemfontein - There are a number of players emerging as contenders for positions on the Springbok wing these days, but on Saturday it will be the turn of Dillyn Leyds to show what he can do. 

Leyds replaces Raymond Rhule in the side for what will be his first Test start and fourth cap overall, and it is the first time this year that coach Allister Coetzee has changed his back three. 

Andries Coetzee retains his place at fullback while Courtnall Skosan is on the right wing once again, but Leyds will get his first full opportunity to put in a performance that matches the hype that has accompanied him for the past two seasons. 

A talented ball player with plenty of pace and skill, Leyds has been used at fullback and at flyhalf by the Stormers. 

He has a passionate group of followers who are adamant that he is destined for great things, and they will be watching closely on Saturday. 

That experience at fullback undoubtedly played some part in Coetzee selecting Leyds for what is a massive clash against the Wallabies in Bloemfontein.

Rhule's defensive struggles two weekends ago against the All Blacks were well documented, and with the Wallabies expected to test the Bok back three aerially on Saturday, Leyds' ability in that department would have made him an attractive option.

"Dillyn is different in a way that he's got the fullback spacial awareness added to his game. He's got a good right boot as well," Coetzee explained.

"I’d like to see similar things on attack, but definitely understands what we need from defence as well.

"Their backs are really one of their strengths so we’ve got to man up."

There are a number of other wings on the Bok radar including Rhule, Ruan Combrinck and Makazole Mapimpi. 

It means that Leyds must make himself indispensable as quickly as possible if he wants to enjoy an extended run in Springbok colours.

"I'm very excited for him," Bok skipper and Stormers Eben Etzebeth said.

"I told him earlier this week that I’m proud of him and I hope to look him the eye after the game and be even more proud of him."

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 Francois Louwi, 6, Siya Kolisi, 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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