Gold backs Jantjies for Bok jersey
Cape Town - A new Springbok coach will be named on Tuesday, and with that comes a new era of South African rugby and fresh opportunities for players to put their hands up for selection.
One of the players on the fringes of the national set-up over the last couple of years has been Elton Jantjies - both of his two Test matches having come in 2012.
Jantjies was unlucky to miss out on the 2015 World Cup squad - Morne Steyn went instead of him - and given his form last year in Super Rugby it is hard to think that he was never given a crack by then-coach Heyneke Meyer.
Now, with Handre Pollard and Pat Lambie out injured, Jantjies is emerging as the overwhelming favourite to start at flyhalf for the June Tests against Ireland on home soil.
He has picked up where he left off in 2015 and is the form South African flyhalf in Super Rugby once more.
His performance in the Lions' 24-9 win over the Sharks in Durban on Saturday was yet another strong reminder that the new Springbok coach will be a brave man to overlook the soft-footed Jantjies.
As far as Sharks coach Gary Gold is concerned, the Boks don't need to look any further than the 25-year-old.
"I think he’s more than deserving of that position," Gold said.
"Obviously at the moment Pat and Handre are out, which is not great from a Springbok point of view, but there’s no way that Elton Jantjies is going to let you down in a Springbok jersey.
"I think he’s cool, calm, composed, he kicks his goals, he runs the show well … I think he’s outstanding."
Gold also had praise for the role that Jantjies played in the Sharks' demise on Saturday,
"A guy like Elton was outstanding tonight. He played really well and controlled the game nicely," said Gold.
"We’re very disappointed in the result and that we didn’t take our opportunities."
The Sharks left for New Zealand on Saturday where they will begin a three-week tour with a fixture against the Blues this weekend.