The 3 Boks who have been ever-present in 2017

2017-12-01 11:29
Eben Etzebeth (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - There has certainly been improvement in the Springbok results this year, even if things have not gone exactly to plan. 

In 2016, Coetzee guided the national side to just four wins from 12 in what was the worst season in the national side's history. 

This year, things have not been nearly as bad.

If the Boks beat Wales on Saturday, they will have played 13, won 8, lost 3 and drawn 2 in 2017. 

While that is a far better return, the 57-0 loss to the All Blacks in Albany and the 38-3 loss to Ireland in Dublin stand out as major lows in the Coetzee era. 

Reports continue to suggest that he will be sacked regardless of what happens on Saturday, which could make this his final Test in charge.

Having backed this group of players by showing relative consistency in his team selection this year, we thought it would be a good idea to identify the players who have started all 13 Tests for the Boks this year. 

There are just THREE of them, while Siya Kolisi and Jesse Kriel have missed just one Test each.

Eben Etzebeth

It's been a massive year for the towering lock forward. Bok captain Warren Whiteley lasted just two Tests against France before he was sidelined with a groin injury, and ever since then Etzebeth has been given the honour of leading his country. He has been in good form throughout, and his simple leadership style is effective when things are going well. He has, however, been questioned in his ability to get the most out of his players when their backs are against the wall. 

Andries Coetzee

The Lions fullback is another who hasn't quite convinced critics that he is the man to guide the Boks to the next World Cup. Allister Coetzee is a fan of the left-booted option that he brings, but Andries Coetzee has also struggled with the boot at times. He does the basics well without being flash, but there just hasn't been enough real penetration from the back to really excite fans. The obvious alternative there is Warrick Gelant, but in 2017 the No 15 jersey has belonged to one man. 

Steven Kitshoff

While this weekend will only be Kitshoff's second Springbok start of the year, he has come off the bench 11 times and featured in every game of 2017. The No 1 jersey still belongs to Tendai Mtawarira, but Kitshoff is undoubtedly the future. With 98 Tests to his name, the 'Beast' is surely nearing the end of the road and Kitshoff is the man to take over when the time comes. 

Pictures: Getty Images

Read more on:    springboks  |  andries coetzee  |  eben etzebeth  |  rugby

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