Nick Mallett (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett feels Frans Malherbe is unlucky not to start for South Africa in their Rugby World Cup clash against Scotland in Newcastle on Saturday.
Despite struggling against Samoa last weekend, Jannie du Plessis has retained his spot as the starting tighthead, with Malherbe again included on the bench.
Du Plessis gave away a couple of penalties against Samoa and appeared to struggle at scrum time, with things improving when Malherbe replaced him in the 54th minute.
“I think Malherbe’s very unlucky not to start, quite frankly,” Mallett said on SuperSport’s Boots & All rugby programme on Thursday night.
“I think the reason he doesn’t start is because Jannie wouldn’t make a great impact off the bench. Jannie’s a guy who needs to start and play 50 minutes, but Malherbe will see 30 minutes of this game, there’s no doubt about it.
“He’s a better scrummager, he’s a better all-round player. This is a guy who made 17 tackles in his first Test match against Wales as a tighthead prop. That’s a tremendous effort.”
Saturday’s clash at St James’ Park - the home of English football side Newcastle United - is scheduled for 17:45 (SA time).
15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez (captain), 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger (vice-captain), 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein
15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Richie Vernon, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 David Denton, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Josh Strauss, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 WP Nel, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Gordon Reid
Substitutes: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Sean Lamont