Town - The word "opportunity" is one that is becoming synonymous with
It is early days yet, but the Bok
coach has already dished out 16
debuts in his three Test matches in charge.
That number is obviously somewhat
skewed by the youthful side he sent to America to take on Wales at the beginning
of the month, but Erasmus has been vocal on the fact that he will be trying new
players and new combinations all the way through until the World Cup in Japan
2-0 up against England, Erasmus
must have been tempted to show faith in the same players who have done the
business so far in the series for Saturday's third and final Test at
The prospect of beating Eddie
Jones' side 3-0 is a tantalising one for the Boks, but Erasmus picked his side
with a bigger picture in mind.
All over the park, there are
players who have been given another opportunity to shine in a Bok jersey.
Chiliboy Ralepelle starts at
hooker despite Bongi Mbonambi having been impressive, Elton Jantjies gets
another crack at flyhalf with Handre Pollard taking a breather, there is a brand-new
centre pairing in Andre Esterhuizen and Jesse Kriel while Warrick Gelant starts
at fullback despite Willie le Roux having been one of the form players for the
Boks so far in the series.
Then, on the bench, 21-year-old
Embrose Papier is also given another Test.
It is Gelant, though, who many
Bok fans will be most excited to see.
With Andries Coetzee having struggled
to make the Bok No 15 jersey his own in 2017, Gelant began to build up a cult
following of those who wanted to see his naturally attacking game included in
the Bok set-up.
His only Test start to date was on the wing in the final Test of last year against Wales, but he now has an opportunity to show
Erasmus and South Africa what he can bring to fullback.
"Warrick is a guy that has
been knocking on the door for some time and has been consistently performing
for the Bulls," said Erasmus.
"We all know what Warrick
can do with ball in hand and he is clearance kicking is excellent.
"He is very accurate on his
left and right foot and you don't get that so often these days."
Erasmus explained that Le Roux's
experience had counted in his favour in the first two Tests due to the fact
that the Boks were fielding two debutant wingers.
Now, though, Gelant has his
While his speed and skill are
obvious standouts, the weather in Cape Town this weekend could make things a
"The nice thing is that, if
it's wet, we'll learn a lot about him," Erasmus said.
"If it's dry we'll have a
typical Warrick Gelant performance and if it's wet we'll see how he handles it,
and if he doesn't handle it we'll go afterwards and work on it.
"If we have to change it we
can put Willie on, who knows wet weather, but hopefully if it is wet he
(Gelant) swims well."
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