Town - Damian de
Allende has given two solid Springbok performances against
England, but on Saturday in Cape Town it will be the turn of Andre Esterhuizen to
show what he can do in the No 12 channel.
It all forms part of Rassie
Erasmus' rotation policy in his attempts to ready the Boks for the 2019 World
Cup in Japan, and while De Allende has not done anything wrong to warrant
losing his place, the Bok coach is using this as an opportunity to see how
other players perform in high-pressure situations.
The Boks are, after all, 2-0 up
in the series.
De Allende battled with both
injury and a lack of form throughout the Allister Coetzee era in 2016 and 2017,
but he has been back to something resembling his best for the Stormers in Super
Rugby this year.
In both the first Test against
England in Johannesburg and the second in Bloemfontein, De Allende ran hard,
straight lines to get the Boks on the front foot and lay the base for attacks.
He is not the flashiest player in
the world, but that is not what is needed from a Springbok No 12 under
Given what we have seen so far,
Erasmus wants his inside centres to take balls at pace and to bash through the
defensive line, quickly recycling to set up the next phase.
In Esterhuizen, Erasmus has a
player who fits that mould.
The 24-year-old, who made his Bok
debut in the 22-20 loss to Wales in Washington at the start of the month, has
been in impressive touch for the Sharks for one-and-a-half Super Rugby seasons
The calls for his Springbok
inclusion actually began last year when Coetzee was in charge, but now he has
that opportunity under a different coach.
According to Erasmus, Esterhuizen
and De Allende share a lot in common when it comes to the way they play the
"Him (Esterhuizen) and
Damian are very similar types of players," Erasmus explained.
"Andre can kick with his
left boot a little bit better and he is about 10kg heavier than Damian, but
they are similar types of players in doing some grunt, being direct and
bringing momentum to the game.
"They do have subtle
differences in terms of offloads and things like that ... Damian tends to take
the outside gap a bit more.
"I think Andre brings
something else to the party, but we are privileged to have two players like
Erasmus added that he was still
looking at Montpellier-based Jan Serfontein as a possible option at inside
centre, but the 35-Test Bok is still sidelined with a rare thigh injury.
Frans Steyn, meanwhile, is
another who could come into consideration at No 12.
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 S'bu Nkosi,
13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9
Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi
(captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Chiliboy
Ralepelle, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Schalk Brits, 17
Steven Kitshoff, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Jean-Luc du Preez, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe,
21 Embrose Papier 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Willie le Roux
15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13
Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Mike Brown, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Ben
Youngs, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Maro Itoje, 4 Joe
Launchbury, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Joe Marler
Substitutes: 16 Luke
Cowan-Dickie, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Jonny Hill, 20 Mark
Wilson, 21 Sam Simmonds, 22 Ben Spencer, 23 Denny Solomona