Johannesburg - “I believe in second chances, I believe the players will do that to improve and show they have learnt. If they don’t then I obviously have to look at other players.”
According to the supersport.com website, Springbok coach Allister Coetzee kept his word to his side and gave the majority of players who failed in the first Test against Ireland a chance to redeem themselves when the two sides meet again in the second outing on Saturday at Ellis Park.
Barring an enforced change through injury to lock Lood de Jager, who was replaced by Pieter-Steph du Toit, Coetzee has made only one tactical change - bringing in Lions star Ruan Combrinck onto the bench for Jesse Kriel to cover wing and fullback and serve as an extra goalkicker as well.
Morne Steyn also makes an appearance on the bench as replacement for Pat Lambie, with Elton Jantjies getting a chance to start the game as the general and direct play the way his coach wants it to be directed.
With Franco Mostert’s appearance on the bench it brings to three the number of uncapped Boks who could make their debut, with Bongi Mbonambi still uncapped after not getting onto the field last week.
Other than that the faith was kept in the same match squad that performed so poorly in Cape Town, with Coetzee sending out a clear message that this time they simply have to get it right and redeem themselves.
“We spoke hard and were very frank in our assessment of last week’s performance,” said Coetzee
“The Springboks are capable of executing the fundamentals of the game much better and that’s what we will set out do on Saturday. We know Ireland will come with a real desire to clinch the series, however, we must be ready to confront them and put ourselves into a position to succeed.
“I believe players who played in Cape Town deserve another opportunity and I am looking forward to see what they can do this week.”
Coetzee was adamant and said he expected a Springbok performance this week that lived up to the jersey they play in.
“The intention is to come out this week and put up a performance that is in line with the ability of this team - a team that will be playing together for the second time and a team that has looked at the basics and worked hard this week,” he added.
In selecting Combrinck – one of the form players in Super Rugby – Coetzee added an extra goalkicking option for the Boks, plus gives the Lions fans some joy with more of their kin in the match day 23.
“I think Ruan brings another option as a goalkicker for us, having lost Pat Lambie and with Elton we have quality kickers, and without Pat and his right boot, Ruan brings that form of assistance to the team. Unfortunate for Jessie but JP Pietersen will slot in at 13 and he will back up there. Last week we had probably four 13s on our bench, and that to me is a positive change and it is the best for the team for the weekend,” he explained.
Franco Mostert had fought his way into the side, and with De Jager out, has the perfect opportunity to make an impression, even though he is headed to Lyon in France later this year.
“He has been playing superb rugby for the Lions throughout the Super Rugby campaign. He is a 100 percentre, during training during the two weeks he has given everything again. That is how it happens in life, if you keep doing the right thing your opportunity will come and hopefully he will get his chance this weekend.”
While Steyn is on the bench for his experience and his tactical kicking boot, Coetzee defended his choice not to call-up Garth April into the squad. The Sharks flyhalf will continue to learn from his peers and will be developed slowly, something Coetzee sees as the correct way of handling his development.
“I’ve said it from the start when I was appointed. The reason I brought in Garth April was to make sure Garth develops here and by developing he gets closer to the Springbok squad. I wouldn’t want to select overseas players as the No 3, only as one or two. When I wake up tomorrow morning and say Elton is ill, who do I fall back to. At least Morne Steyn is there, he has done it, he has been there and it would give the team confidence. It would give everyone confidence in the setup. He has been there for the last four years so it is nothing new for him.
“And that is how I’d like to look at the development of youngsters like Garth April. I know there is an expectation that youngsters must play but you can also destroy youngsters and there is a way to blood youngsters and I feel that is the way I go about it.”
15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Warren Whiteley, 21 Rudy Paige 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Ruan Combrinck
15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Stuart Olding, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Rhys Ruddock, 6 Iain Henderson, 5 Quinn Roux, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Jack McGrath
Substitutes: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Donnacha Ryan, 20 Sean Reidy, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Tiernan O'Halloran