Cronje: Faf and I are 'great mates'

2017-06-10 14:35
Ross Cronje (Gallo)

Cape Town - This time, last year, Faf de Klerk was the man chosen by Springbok coach Allister Coetzee as his first-choice scrumhalf. 

A year later, and De Klerk is out in the Springbok wilderness. 

Instead, Ross Cronje will earn his first Test cap when the Boks take on France in the first of three Tests at Loftus on Saturday. 

Cronje has moved ahead of De Klerk in the Lions pecking order in Super Rugby this year, and he will get his first crack - just as De Klerk did last year - at Test level on Saturday. 

Cronje is one of four debutants in the Springbok side for the clash - the others being Andries Coetzee, Raymond Rhule and Courtnall Skosan. 

Speaking in the build-up to the game, Cronje said that he shared a strong friendship with De Klerk. 

"Faf and I are great mates, on and off the field," Cronje said. 

"We're both very supportive of each other. Coach Ackies (Lions coach, Johan Ackermann) obviously believes in that rotational system and when I got an opportunity I believe I took it.

"I'm just excited to be here and see what happens."

While a Bok debut is always daunting, Cronje can take comfort in the fact that he will have his Lions team-mates Warren Whiteley and Elton Jantjies around him at No 8 and flyhalf, respectively. 

"Playing with Wazza (Whiteley) and Elton obviously gives me a lot confidence. I know exactly what they're about and the type of game they play," said Cronje. 

"However, I believe the team has really gelled well over the last couple of weeks.

"The guys, not just the Lions boys, have made it a lot easier."

There is another potential debutant on the bench in the form of Stormers wing Dillyn Leyds. 

Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:00.


South Africa

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Dillyn Leyds


15 Brice Dulin, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Gaël Fickou, 11 Virimi Vakatawa, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Loann Goujon, 6 Yacouba Camara, 5 Yoann Maestri (captain), 4 Julien le Devedec, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Clément Maynadier, 1 Jefferson Poirot

Substitutes: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Eddy Ben Arous, 18 Mohamed Boughanmi, 19 Bernard le Roux, 20 Kévin Gourdon, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Jean-Marc Doussain, 23 Vincent Rattez

Read more on:    springboks  |  ross cronje  |  faf de klerk  |  pretoria  |  rugby

Focus on Bok leadership

49 minutes ago

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Saturday, 18 November 2017
Italy v Argentina, Florence 15:00
Romania v Samoa, Bucuresti 15:00
Wales v Georgia, Principality Stadium 16:30
England v Australia, Twickenham 16:30
Japan v Tonga, Toulouse 18:15
Scotland v New Zealand, BT Murrayfield 19:15
Ireland v Fiji, Aviva Stadium 19:30
France v South Africa, Saint Denis 22:00
Saturday, 25 November 2017
Italy v South Africa, Padova 15:00
England v Samoa, Twickenham 16:00
Scotland v Australia, Edinburgh 16:30
Wales v New Zealand, Principality Stadium 19:15
Ireland v Argentina, Aviva Stadium 19:30
France v Japan, Nanterre 20:45
Saturday, 02 December 2017
Wales v South Africa, Cardiff 16:30

Any chance the Springboks bounce back from their record defeat to Ireland and beat France next weekend?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.