Coetzee's tricky flyhalf conundrum

    2016-05-25 16:50

    Cape Town - Allister Coetzee will name his first Springbok squad on Saturday ahead of the June internationals against Ireland, and he may have a tricky decision to make in terms of who his flyhalves will be. 

    That looked to be one of his easier selections less than a week ago, with Elton Jantjies flourishing throughout Super Rugby while the return of Patrick Lambie came at the ideal time. 

    Lambie, perhaps short on game time, has slotted back in brilliantly at the Sharks in recent weeks since recovering from a shoulder injury. 

    Jantjies, meanwhile, has been in superb for for the Lions and was largely tipped to be given the No 10 jersey against Ireland in Cape Town on June 11 for his first Bok cap since 2012. 

    But a finger injury to Jantjies against the Jaguares may rule him out of at least the first Test.

    That would mean that Lambie becomes the overwhelming favourite to start at flyhalf in Coetzee's first match in charge, but who are the other options? 

    Here are a few (presuming Jantjies is injured): 

    Pat Lambie

    Might have had to play second-fiddle to Jantjies on June 11, but he is now surely going to be given a start. He was in superb form against the Kings over the weekend, was calm under pressure to slot a winning penalty against the Jaguares the week before and has displayed the consistency over the last three weeks that has helped make him a 50-Test Springbok veteran.

    Johan Goosen

    Goosen has been in top form for his French club Racing 92, and should he be included will stand in line to earn his first Test cap since 2014. He was once considered one of the country's brightest prospects, but since making his debut in 2012 as a 20-year-old a combination of injury and his decision to play his rugby overseas has seen him fall out of favour.

    Demetri Catrakilis

    The Coetzee connection comes into play here, with Catrakilis having been a mainstay in the Stormers teams towards the end of Coetzee's rein in Cape Town. It may not seem the most logical choice given that the Boks are supposedly looking to play a more expansive brand of rugby over the next four years, but with the injuries to Jantjies and Handre Pollard, a Catrakilis call-up might not be that far-fetched. 

    Garth April

    This may be a long shot, but April's speed and dynamic distribution could make him the closest thing to Jantjies that Coetzee has. Still hard to see it happening.


    Morne Steyn

    Surely not, but Steyn does come with a wealth of experience that could prove handy in Coetzee's maiden Test series. He played a minimal part in South Africa's 2015 World Cup campaign, and his inclusion would be seen by many as a step backwards. 

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