Lions scouting for flyhalf

2010-07-30 08:02

Pieter Jordaan

Johannesburg – John Mitchell is looking for a flyhalf that can be an attacking weapon for the Lions in the Currie Cup.

That is why he has decided to pick teenager Elton Jantjes for Saturday’s clash against the Blue Bulls at Coca-Cola Park.

There is a lot of excitement about the young pivot in Johannesburg.

However, the youngster has a big challenge ahead as he will carry an immense responsibility on his shoulders in the key position.

Lions coach John Mitchell does not believe Jantjes is being fed to the wolves.

“Elton has been part of our squad for four weeks and has a lot of confidence. We want strike power at flyhalf. Apart from that he can control games and see space on the field. He has a great future,” Mitchell said on Thursday.

Jantjes’s inclusion is at the expense of Herkie Kruger, who is not even a substitute.

Reserve flyhalf Carlos Spencer is a full 16 years older than Jantjes, but may also be making his Currie Cup debut.

“We have picked Carlos and Elton because we want to be more ambitious on attack. Then there is also Jano Vermaak, who poses a threat.
If your scrumhalf and flyhalf are danger men, it brings a great deal more uncertainty to your opponent’s defence,” said Mitchell.

Vermaak and inside centre Doppies la Grange will have to draw on their experience to help Jantjes along. With La Grange back in the side, Waylon Murray will move to outside centre.

It is his usual position, but the first time that he will play there for his new union.

Mitchell has also made two more changes to his side. JC Janse van Rensburg is back after his ankle injury. He will play loosehead prop, with Kevin Buys shifting across to the tighthead spot in place of Ross Geldenhuys.

Captain and flank Franco van der Merwe will move to lock at the expense of David Bulbring.

Trevor Hall also gets his first start – as a flank – since his return from France.

Mitchell says the changes are down to him wanting stronger ball-carriers in his pack. Another interesting inclusion was that of 20-year-old fetching flank Jaco Kriel on the substitutes bench.

Lions v Blue Bulls, Johannesburg - 17:05


15. Jaco Taute, 14. Deon van Rensburg, 13. Waylon Murray, 12. Doppies la Grange, 11. Michael Killian, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Jano Vermaak, 8. Warren Whiteley, 7. Trevor Hall, 6. Derek Minnie, 5. Franco van der Merwe (captain), 4. George Earle, 3. Kevin Buys, 2. Martin Bezuidenhout, 1. JC Janse van Rensburg

Replacements: 16. Edgar Marutlulle, 17. Ross Geldenhuys, 18. David Bulbring, 19. Jaco Kriel, 20. Chris Jonck, 21. Carlos Spencer, 22. Marius Delport

Blue Bulls:
15. Jaco van der Westhuyzen, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Stephan Dippenaar, 12. Stefan Watermeyer, 11. John Mametsa, 10. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9. Francois Hougaard, 8. Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 7. Derick Kuun, 6. Dewald Potgieter, 5. Petrus Johannes Juandre Kruger, 4. Flip van der Merwe, 3. Werner Kruger, 2. Gary Botha (captain), 1. Dean Greyling

Replacements: 16. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17. Bees Roux, 18. Fudge Mabeta, 19. Christiaan Johan Stander, 20. Ruan Snyman, 21. Francois Brummer, 22. Hayden Gareth Groepes


  • Hein _ Centurion - 2010-07-30 08:21

    Come on you Blue Bulls - we need a win big time!!!!!!! Make us proud.

  • StuartW - 2010-07-30 08:39

    Hierdie gaan 'n goeie game wees...Elton Jantjies is baie opwindend...gaan goed wees om te sien hoe hy teen JLP opweeg...albei spanne lyk goed, kom ons hoop dis 'n nice game...

  • Hannes uit Perth - 2010-07-30 09:02

    Typical Mitchell. He backs good youngsters early and will stick with them until they develop through the early ups and downs. Elton must have something special as Mitchell previously backed youngsters like James O'Connor and Dave Pocock at the Force and coached them until they became world class players. Pieter de Villiers, watch and learn...

  • katman - 2010-07-30 09:05

    Finally the Lions team is starting to resemble something decent. If Jantjes steps up, then the backline is certainly more than respectable. Is Tonderai Chavanga injured?

  • Sicelo - 2010-07-30 09:10

    Mitchell is as conservative as the South African coaches, look at the youngsters that have matured under him teh Force (e.g. O'Connor, Pocock, and others). He has the balls to give the youngsters an opportunity and back them. If Frans Steyn can play for teh Boks as a 19year old, why not Jantjies. He has earned his stripes with some nice performances with the baby Boks. In South Africa we have the tendency of going with conservative, defensive minded and one-dimensional flyhalfs, look at the existing crop of flyhalfs. they're flat-footed and are renowned for kicking long distances.with the livewire Vermaak as a scrumhalf the boy can really prosper. Go Elton!!!!! Show Dem!!!

  • Loud Lion - 2010-07-30 09:27

    GO LIONS!!

  • MARIUS - 2010-07-30 09:28

    Geen game kan goed wees waarin die LIONS betrokke is nie. Die BULLS gaan hulle verneder.

  • papoose - 2010-07-30 09:29

    what happened to Burton Francis?

  • monster - 2010-07-30 09:31

    What happend to the great Carlos Spencer?? What a let down, cost a fortune and didnt deliver. The Lions (once the mighty Transvaal - richest rugby union in the world) should get out the cheque book to get decent players, and also stop players from defecting!!!. Its a bloody disgrace. Please, Please ..just dont get Earl Rose back!!!!!!

  • GO LIONS! - 2010-07-31 14:48

    Easy wen vir die Lions.

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