Cape Town - Legendary former Springbok lock Victor Matfield has picked his Bok lock pairing for the upcoming three-Test series against England.
Matfield said he had been impressed by the performances this season of Bulls lock Lood de Jager.
But when De Jager was this week ruled out for four months with a chest muscle tear, Matfield had to rethink his Springbok lock combination.
In an interview with Netwerk24, Matfield said he would pick the Stormers’ Pieter-Steph du Toit at No 5 and the Bulls’ RG Snyman at No 4.
In future, Snyman could become a top-notch international No 5 but for the moment Matfield would pick him in the No 4 jumper.
“I worked a lot with RG when he was a junior and he has potential as a No 5. He has done well there in the lineouts, but it’s a different story at Test level. It’s maybe a good idea to now give him exposure.”
Playing in the No 4 jersey at alongside the more experienced Du Toit would take some pressure off Snyman, Matfield added.
Another Springbok lock, Eben Etzebeth, has been sidelined since last year with a shoulder injury and it’s debatable whether he’ll be ready for the England series.
The Boks open their 2018 Test season with a clash against Wales in Washington DC on June 2, before flying back to South Africa for the England series.
The first Test against England is scheduled for Ellis Park in Johannesburg on June 9, followed by Tests in Bloemfontein (Free State Stadium, June 16) and Cape Town (Newlands, June 23).
The Bok squad for the Tests will be named on Saturday, May 26.