A fortnight ago I picked a Springboks starting XV that, for one position, was the one that started in Sydney and hammered the Wallabies. That same team starts against Argentina in Buenos Aires. It took me 10 minutes. It took the national selectors 10 months to get to this point, writes Mark Keohane.
It is a lot easier to separate the clarity from the chaos when afar. I guess that is why it was so easy to put together a starting XV I felt would do the Wallabies in Sydney than the ‘same old’ who got smashed in Adelaide.
It is why discussion and debate among the media and rugby supporters is so important. Rassie and Jacques need to hear the voices from afar.
Often we see the obvious when those so close to the action can’t separate a dud from dynamite.
This is a very good Bok match 23. The starting XV is a recognition of form and not historical form.
There is the odd exception, and Jesse Kriel would be the first to acknowledge he is overdue a big one.
For the rest there isn’t much debate.
The ‘finishers’ also known as the ‘substitutes’ or the ‘bench’ have a sprinkling of change. Andre Esterhuizen and Elrigh Louw get some reward for drinking orange juice and holding tackle bags for the past two months. I am particularly pleased for the Bulls loose-forward Louw. He is a big occasion player, who is the future of the Springboks loose-forward unit.
I am also pleased Deon Fourie gets another crack in the guise of hooker and loose-forward.
Class and form have been rewarded over age. Fourie is closer to 40 than he is to 30.
Faf de Klerk’s promotion to the bench over Cobus Reinarch is because he can play No 10 and he can take the shorter kicks at goal. Frans Steyn’s cannon boot will look after the long range efforts, should the match outcome come down to a kicking shoot-out in the final few minutes.
The Bok pack is currently the best, if the back division is not necessarily so.
Franco Mostert, right now, commands a start over Pieter-Steph du Toit, where the latter was injured or not. Damian Willemse would get a run over Handre Pollard, injury or not. It is only Lukhanyo Am, of the injured, who would slot straight back in at No 13.
There would be a case made for Cheslin Kolbe or Kurt-Lee Arendse on the right wing, but I think Canan Moodie is going to be more difficult to shift than he was to select. His versatility also offers a place in the 23 at fullback, either wing, or at No 13.
It is ‘same again’ but this time it is ‘right again’.
🇿🇦 The Bok starting lineup for Saturday's crucial #CastleRugbyChampionship Test against the Pumas is unchanged
🗣️ “They are a passionate rugby nation, and the Pumas will never give an inch”
🔗 Team announcement: https://t.co/yrb3sJNhgx#StrongerTogether #StrongerForever #ARGvRSA pic.twitter.com/NpgDxlnJMD
— Springboks (@Springboks) September 13, 2022