By Mark Gleeson
JOHANNESBURG – Elton Jantjies will start his first match for South Africa after being named at fly half for the second test against Ireland at Ellis Park on Saturday.
And coach Allister Coetzee warned his players they could be dropped or face financial consequences if they did not improve after last Saturday’s shock home loss.
The 25-year-old Jantjies, whose three previous caps have all come off the bench, steps in for Pat Lambie, who was concussed in the first test which the Springboks lost 26-20 at Newlands in a first ever home defeat by the Irish.
Jantjies has been the in-form pivot for the Lions in Super Rugby this year and plays on his home ground just over a month after breaking a finger. He will wear a soft plastic covering over it for protection. “I want to see Elton take control of the game, I expect him to get us to play in the right areas of the field, to be clever and make good decisions,” Coetzee told a news conference in Johannesburg.
Pieter-Steph du Toit replaces the injured Lood de Jager at lock in the only other change to the starting XV, named by Coetzee on Thursday. De Jager has a torn calf muscle.
“Our focus is on turning things around this weekend. We start on a new slate, there is an opportunity for the players to redeem themselves,” the Bok coach added.
“I believe in second chances, players need that to improve. We have to make mistake to rectify them but there can be no excuses when it comes to executing the basics of the game. There will be consequences, either financially or being dropped from the team for those who don’t get it right,” Coetzee warned. Morne Steyn, called up this week from his holidays as cover at fly half, is on the bench along with uncapped lock Franco Mostert.
Coetzee also made one other change among his replacements with uncapped wing Ruan Combrink replacing Jesse Kriel to give an added kicking option.
The last test of the three-match series will be played in Port Elizabeth on June 25.
Team: 15-Willie le Roux, 14-JP Pieterse, 13-Lionel Mapoe, 12-Damian de Allende, 11-Lwazi Mvovo, 10-Elton Jantjies, 9-Faf de Klerk; 8-Duane Vermeulen, 7-Siya Kolisi, 6-Francois Louw, 5-Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 3-Frans Malherbe, 2-Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1-Tendai Mtawarira. Replacements: 16-Bongi Mbonambi, 17-Trevor Nyakane, 18-Julian Redelinghuys, 19-Francois Mostert, 20-Warren Whiteley, 21-Rudy Paige, 22-Morne Steyn, 23-Ruan Combrink.(Reuters)