In Episode 5 of the War Room, Mark Keohane and Zelim Nel discuss the best Springbok tight five to challenge the touring tighties of the British & Irish Lions . The twist? None of the 2019 World Cup winning starting tight five is available for selection.
The War Room focuses on South African rugby’s depth, as we build to the British & Irish Lions tour in July. In a hypothetical time of crisis, where Rassie Erasmus’ entire starting XV from the 2019 World Cup winning side is either injured or ill, who would make the cut to challenge the Lions in a series decider?
While Mark and Zelim offer their opinions on the best individuals and combinations available, the readers get to pick their team too. You can vote on SA Rugby Magazine’s poll and stand a chance to win a Springbok jersey.
So far the War Room team reads as follows: 15. Frans Steyn 14. Sbu Nkosi 13. Jesse Kriel 12. Cornal Hendricks 10. Damian Willemse 9. Herschel Jantjies 8. Willem Alberts 7. Rynhardt Elstadt 6. Marcell Coetzee. The readers, while agreeing on some scores, varied in other positions: 15. Frans Steyn 14. Cornal Hendricks 13. Jesse Kriel 12. Jan Serfontein 11. Sbu Nkosi 10. Morne Steyn 9. Cobus Reinach 8. Marcell Coetzee 7. Rynhardt Elstadt 6. Marco van Staden.
When reflecting on the selections so far, the South African stock both locally and abroad sees some mean competition for the Northern Hemisphere’s best – but neither of these sides will have Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Beast Mtawarira, Eben Etzebeth or Lood De Jager solidifying the set piece and steering the scrum.
Luckily, the South African factory is not loose forward exclusive and between our local franchises and the individuals starring overseas, our options at prop, lock and hooker are plenty.
Who makes the cut for Mark and Zelim, and who makes the cut for you?
Unable to watch? Listen to Episode 5 below