Rugby Championship

Coetzee happy with loose trio balance

2017-08-17 22:25
Uzair Cassiem (Gallo)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee says he is happy with the balance in his loose trio ahead of Saturday's Rugby Championship clash against Argentina in Port Elizabeth.

While the rest of the side shows strong consistency from the June series against France, Coetzee was forced into a rethink in the loose trio given the absence of captain and No 8 Warren Whiteley to injury.

It was also somewhat surprising that Coetzee released Oupa Mohoje back to the Free State Cheetahs this week. 

Instead, Coetzee has kept faith with Jaco Kriel at No 7 while Siya Kolisi is the other flank with Uzair Cassiem cracking the nod at the back of the scrum. 

It is an untested combination and may appear light on the surface, but Coetzee believes he has found the right balance.

"During the June internationals we only had one No 8 in our captain, Warren Whiteley. Now all of a sudden we have three," Coetzee said, making reference to Cassiem and the Du Preez brothers, Jean-Luc and Dan.

"Siya Kolisi played really well during the June series and so did Jaco Kriel in the last Test.

"Those players all went back to their franchises and were performing. When it gets to selection, I will always favor the experience. Jaco Kriel has gained a hell of a lot of experience in the absence of Warren Whiteley with the playoffs for the Lions."

Coetzee added that Cassiem was a lot like Whiteley in his play.

"Our balance is right with Uzair Cassiem. He's played at No 8 for the Cheetahs," said Coetzee.

"His lineout intelligence is absolutely wonderful. He's a great contester and very similar to Warren Whiteley. He plays in the wide channels as well on attack, so I'm very happy with him there."

The loose forward cover off the bench comes in the form of Jean-Luc du Preez.


South Africa

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Beast Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Pieter-Steph Du Toit, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Curwin Bosch, 23 Damian de Allende


Substitutes: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Lucas Noguera, 18 Ramiro Herrera, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Javier Ortega Desio, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Juan Martin Hernandez, 23 Matias Moroni


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