Cape Town - Elton Jantjies may finally come good at Test level under the guidance of Rassie Erasmus as head coach.
This is the view of former All Black flyhalf Tony Brown.
Jantjies has been a star performer for the Lions in Super Rugby over the past few seasons, but has struggled to translate that form into the Test arena.
Jantjies played 21 of his 23 Tests during the tumultuous two-year coaching tenure of Allister Coetzee where he struggled to silence critics that he belonged at the highest level of the game.
Brown, the current assistant coach of the Sunwolves and the Japanese national team, spoke exclusively to Sport24 this week when he shared his views on the Springboks’ options at flyhalf.
With Erasmus now the national team's head coach, Brown believes Jantjies may fulfil his potential.
“Elton Jantjies is a quality rugby player and surprisingly hasn’t performed at Test level to the expectations of everyone. I’m not sure why because I definitely think he is good enough,” Brown said.
Brown added: "Potentially it could be because the way that the Springboks play doesn’t suit his game. I know that at Super Rugby level he is as good as anyone. With Rassie Erasmus now at the helm, he will get the South African game going and that could aide Elton.”
Regarding South Africa’s other flyhalf options, Brown commented: “South Africa has a number of interesting options at flyhalf. It’s good to see Handre Pollard back playing after a couple of horrendous injuries. I always thought that he was going to be a bit of a superstar, but he hasn’t come on over the last couple of years because of injuries. It will be interesting to see what he can do this year."
Brown continued: "Robert du Preez is a quality rugby player. I was really impressed with Robert last year when he was at the Stormers. I thought he had a really good season and was probably unlucky not to have made the Springbok squad. I rate South Africa’s strength in depth at pivot, but Beauden Barrett is the best in the world because he has got all the skills and can play 15 as well as 10. He’s a threat right across the park and is a very dangerous player. In the modern game, a flyhalf cannot just be a catch-and-pass or kicking player. Defensively, they also have to be really effective when someone comes down the flyhalf channel and, when dropping back to fill in at fullback, they need to be really effective aerially.”