Springboks

Coetzee: Gelant is an 'X-factor' player

2017-12-01 09:11
Warrick Gelant (Getty)

Cape Town - Warrick Gelant has been knocking on the Springbok door for weeks now, and on Saturday he will get his chance when he starts a Test for the first time when the Boks take on Wales in Cardiff. 

A fullback by trade, Gelant will start on the left wing after he made his debut there off the bench in last weekend's win over Italy. 

READ: Allister flirts with transformation flak

Courtnall Skosan is the man who loses his place, but Coetzee feels that in Gelant he has an "X-factor" player. 

"I’m really excited to see Warrick starting. It’s a great opportunity for him and I think he has consistently played really well since his return to Super Rugby and Currie Cup this year. I think his injury last year set him back a bit," Coetzee said of the 22-year-old. 

"It’s not just at fullback … he’s one of those X-factor players that you need in your team whether at 15 or 11. He’ll make an impact.

"He understands both positions, like Dillyn Leyds, and that’s an added advantage with playing against a strong Welsh team with an experienced 10 in (Dan) Biggar who understands the kicking game very well."

One of the concerns with Skosan was his ability under the high ball, and given that Gelant is a natural No 15, Coetzee is hoping that the Boks will be stronger in that department.

The coach also pointed to Gelant's kicking game

"He’s a very astute kicker for a winger. Not all wingers are natural kickers of the ball and he kicks with both feet," said the coach.

"I’m happy with his kicking game and the fact that he’s such a good rugby player. You’ve seen in Currie Cup how devastating he was with his attacking kicking game, so hopefully that will all add to the plan.

"We have been monitoring Warrick for a long time and he’s been part of the plan from the outset."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 16:30 (SA time)

Teams:

Wales

15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Hallam Amos, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Cory Hill, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Rob Evans

Substitutes: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Wyn Jones, 18. Rhodri Jones, 19 Seb Davies, 20 Dan Lydiate, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Owen Watkin

South Africa

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Warrick Gelant, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Oupa Mohoje 20 Uzair Cassiem, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Lukhanyo Am

Read more on:    springboks  |  warrick gelant  |  rugby
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