Lood de Jager (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Former Springbok flyhalf Joel Stransky says that the decision to leave Lood de Jager out of the starting line-up for Saturday's crucial World Cup clash against Samoa was "surprising".
De Jager started last Saturday's tournament opener against Japan when the Boks were famously beaten 34-32, but he makes way for Eben Etzebeth this week as Victor Matfield retains his place.
Stransky, who has been posting a series of videos to his Twitter account throughout the tournament, said that while the inclusion Etzebeth was expected he would like to see more from Matfield on Saturday.
"Lood de Jager was probably South Africa’s standout player in
that horrific defeat. In comes Etzebeth; maybe no real surprise there. What maybe
is surprising is that De Jager is not in the starting line-up," said the Springbok hero of 1995.
"His (Matfield's) stats were good on the weekend but I thought he was a
little bit quiet for the bulk of the game."
Stransky also voiced his thoughts on Jean de Villiers retaining his place in the starting line-up, and while he agreed with coach Heyneke Meyer's decision, he questioned De Villiers' move from inside to outside centre.
"Can Jean defend that outside channel? That’s the big ask of
a man coming back from a knee injury and looking rather slow at the moment," said Stransky.
Saturday's match kicks off at 17:45.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Beast Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jesse Kriel
15 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 Paul Perez, 12 Ray Lee-Lo, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Mike Stanley, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Ofisa Treviranus (captain), 7 Jack Lam, 6 TJ Ioane, 5 Iosefa Tekori, 4 Teofilo Paulo, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 Sakaria Taulafo
Substitutes: 16 Ole Avei, 17 Viliamu Afatia, 18 Census Johnston, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 Vavae Tuilagi, 21 Vavao Afemai, 22 Tusi Pisi, 23 George Pisi