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    Stormers' Jantjies generating Springbok heat

    2019-04-26 12:36

    Lloyd Burnard - Sport24

    Cape Town - When the Stormers have their Super Rugby bye on the weekend on May 10/11, several players from the franchise will be included in a Springbok alignment camp. 

    The likes of national captain Siya Kolisi, Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Damian Willemse and Damian de Allende can all be relatively certain of their places in that camp, but the Stormers could also dish up a couple of bolters who were not anywhere near the Bok set-up at the start of the season. 

    Wings Sergeal Petersen and Dillyn Leyds will fancy their chances, but the real surprise package out of Newlands this year comes in the form of scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies.

    Having turned 23 earlier this week, Jantjies started the 2019 season firmly behind Jano Vermaak in the Stormers pecking order. 

    An injury to Vermaak in week two, however, threw the largely inexperienced Jantjies into the deep end. 

    Having made his Super Rugby announcement with a match-winning try off the bench against the Lions in that second round of fixtures, Jantjies was given his chance in the starting line-up in the weeks that followed. 

    While the Stormers have struggled for large parts of their campaign - this past weekend's home loss to the Brumbies was one low point - Jantjies has been consistently impressive and has earned plaudits that have seen him enter the Springbok conversation. 

    It would obviously be a massive call taking somebody so inexperienced to a World Cup and there are only four Bok Tests before that tournament begins, but Fleck still believes that Jantjies has done enough this year to warrant a look-in. 

    "Outstanding," the coach said when asked to talk about Jantjies' season so far.

    "He is another player up there with one of the best in terms of the South African teams. He is one of the best No 9s in the country at the moment.

    "He is playing outstanding rugby and has just grown from strength to strength as the competition has gone one. His service is quick and effective, he is dangerous around the fringes and the biggest jump in his game has been his defence.

    "I'm very happy for him and we've invested a lot of time in him. He's coming through nicely and I'm very excited of where he can go this year.

    "I would think that he would get invited to that camp ... he deserves it."

    While Sale-based Faf de Klerk is the overwhelming favourite to be South Africa's first-choice scrumhalf at the World Cup, the Bulls duo of Ivan van Zyl and Embrose Papier are considered the back-ups. 

    If Jantjies was to force his way into World Cup reckoning, it would be at the expense of one of those two players. 

    Jantjies and Van Zyl will meet at Newlands on Saturday when the Stormers host the Bulls. 

    Kick-off is at 15:05.

    Teams:

    Stormers

    15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Kobus van Dyk, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff

    Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Eben Etzebeth, 20 Ernst van Rhyn, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Joshua Stander, 23 Seabelo Senatla

    Bulls

    15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Jade Stighling, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Johnny Kotze, 10 Handre Pollard (captain), 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jannes Kirsten, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka

    Substitutes: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Paul Schoeman, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw

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