- Lions coach Swys de Bruin has
jumped to the defence of flyhalf Elton
Jantjies, who had a tough outing for the Springboks in their
25-10 loss to England on Saturday.
Jantjies was all at sea in
terrible weather conditions at Newlands, forcing Bok coach Rassie Erasmus to
substitute him before the hour-mark.
It was a performance that has
seen Jantjies come in for heavy criticism, with many South African rugby
followers calling time on the playmaker's international career.
But De Bruin, who worked with the
Boks throughout the England series as a backline and attack consultant, has
picked Jantjies at flyhalf for this Saturday's Super Rugby clash against the
Sharks in Durban.
It is clear how highly De Bruin
rates Jantjies, and he used his pre-match press conference on Thursday to back
the under-fire pivot.
"Elton is a true professional.
There is a reason why he has played 100 games for this franchise and not many
guys have achieved that," De Bruin said.
"Elton has bounced back
before. You can play flyhalf only with the ball you're getting.
"It's very easy to blame
Elton, but I went through the clips again (from the 3rd Test) and often he had
to do a bit of wicketkeeping at a stage and it was a wet ball and so-on. He
learnt a lot."
According to De Bruin, Jantjies
would not let one bad experience keep him down.
"One thing about Elton is
that he's resilient. He can take a shot and come back," said De Bruin.
"He does a lot of boxing in
his spare time and he's a fighter. He is an unreal team guy.
"I have never subbed Elton
and Ackers (Johan Ackermann, previous coach) didn't either. We have got so much
faith in him and even if he has a bad game he plays through it.
"Elton has done well for us
and I won't chuck him out."
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Phillip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Beast Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Lwazi Mvovo
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith
Substitutes: 16 Corne Fourie, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19, Lourens Erasmus, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Marnus Schoeman, 22 Nic Groom, 23 Courtnall Skosan