On Tuesday, Jacques Nienaber is set to name his squad for the Autumn Internationals against Wales, Scotland and England on consecutive weekends in November. The Springboks will remain without the services of 2019 world player of the year Pieter-steph du Toit as he recovers. Unfortunately Frans Malherbe and RG Snyman are also on this list.
Players such as Faf de Klerk and Cheslin Kolbe also remain under the injury cloud and their eligibility for selection will be announced on Tuesday. Scrumhalf and wing are well covered however if the two stares are unavailable. Young lock Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg is also an injury concern and unlikely to feature in the tour. Moving on from the availability of players, is this time for some on field personnel changes too?
There is no question that Handre Pollard is a class act and when on form competes to be the best 10 in the world. 2021 however has been a tumultuous for the playmaker, with his most notable struggles coming from the kicking tee. Pollard has been instilled as the general for the majority of the current coaching tenure, with Elton consigned to the bench or wider squad if a 6/2 split is followed on the bench.
Elton having debuted in 2012 against Australia, has amassed 41 test caps to date with 309 points to his name. Most of these caps have come from the bench however and in the lead up to his half century, more opportunities to start should come his way. He isn't short of experience on the test stage and he also guided to the Lions to back to back Super Rugby finals which should not easily be forgotten.
Elton finally got his chance in the second test against the All Blacks and he took it with both hands and a drop goal to boot. Elton ignited the Springbok backline when he was called upon and reviews of game footage show him organising the team extremely well on defense as he gave directions to his forwards. I have never been the biggest fan of Jantjies as I feel he struggles when the pack isn't dominant, but wit as powerful a pack as the Boks possess, maybe this shouldn't even be considered at test level.
Jantjies took his shot and put his hand up, as a result he deserves the chance to start for the Boks and to have a run of games to show the coaches and supporters what he brings to the table. In a a game like the one coming up against Wales, it will be crucial to convert your points and if Pollard is still struggling, he should not start. The Bok jersey is not the place to find form, you do that with your club.
The combination of Reinach and Elton is also an enticing one and may get the game flowing at quite a pace, its something I would like to see, especially against the Scot's. Elton is just one example of squad rotation that I'd like to see along with the likes of Fassi, Van Staden, Marx and Simelane.