Springboks

Coetzee: Pollard must wait for opportunity

2017-11-10 08:31
Handre Pollard (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has backed flyhalf Elton Jantjies for Saturday's Test against Ireland, seeking "continuity" as the Boks look to register what would be a somewhat unexpected win. 

There were many who felt that Handre Pollard, fully fit once more, would make his first Test start since the 2015 World Cup in Dublin this weekend. 

Coetzee has been vocal on how sharp Pollard has looked in recent weeks, and he acknowledged in the week that he had a tough decision to make. 

But, after announcing his starting line-up on Thursday, Coetzee has placed his chips on the silky Lions playmaker one more time. 

It has been an improved international season for Jantjies, who has started every Test this year, but he is still viewed as unpredictable at times and he has not yet made the position his own. 

Orchestrating a famous win on Saturday would go a long way towards doing just that.

"Continuity is a massive part of our planning going forward," Coetzee said.

"Handre has trained excellently throughout the Championship. He hasn't had a lot of time. Against New Zealand we would loved to see him play for 20 minutes and then he had the knock to his head."

Coetzee was referring to the Boks' 24-25 loss to the All Blacks in Cape Town last month. 

That day, Jantjies had put in an erratic display before being replaced by Pollard. 

The Bulls pivot had shown good touches when he came onto the park, but he could not complete the game after he was concussed. 

Coetzee says there is a healthy competition in the squad at the moment and he encouraged Pollard to remain patient. 

"Hopefully he will get his opportunity. He's ready to play and he must wait for the opportunity ... they realise that," he said.

"Competition in the group is really healthy and that's an added bonus."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 19:30.

Teams:

Ireland

15 Rob Kearney, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Cian Healy

Substitutes: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 John Ryan, 19 James Ryan, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Darren Sweetnam

South Africa

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6, Siya Kolisi, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira 

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi , 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Uzair Cassiem, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Francois Venter

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Saturday, 25 November 2017
Namibia v Uruguay, Windhoek 16:00
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