Elton Jantjies. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Elton Jantjies. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

After missing out on the second Test against England in what was described as a "rotational" decision, flyhalf Elton Jantjies looks set for a recall in the third Test at Newlands.

The Lions pivot started against Wales in Washington earlier in June, one of the few older heads on that brief tour, which ended in a 22-20 defeat.

Jantjies was on the bench for the first Test against England at Ellis Park and only appeared in the final four minutes of that match before being overlooked for the second Test.

If it was a rotational switch by coach Rassie Erasmus, it was a strange one. Jantjies was rotated out for centre Jesse Kriel. The Boks went into the second Test with only one recognised flyhalf in the squad – Handré Pollard – and were fortunate that Pollard was not injured in the match.

Jantjies now looks set to be given another go with the series wrapped up.

"Last week was part of the rotation policy to give Jesse a run," Jantjies said.

"I was told to get ready for a game soon, maybe this weekend even. I had to make sure my body is [in] the right condition because I’ve played a lot of rugby this year. I’m feeling good though, because I’m the type of guy who likes to play a lot, and the coaches sometimes have to pull me back."

It is now a question of whether Erasmus believes in Jantjies. By picking him for a dead rubber, in what are expected to be wet and heavy conditions, Jantjies will have a tougher time making an impact.

But the flyhalf is up for the challenge, especially with Pollard, Rob du Preez, Damian Willemse and Curwin Bosch all candidates for the flyhalf role in the next months.

"Newlands is a bit heavy and if there is rain then we will have to adapt on the field. But the basics of using the guys around you — whether it’s run space or kick space — is still part of the game. We have a plan for the conditions," he said.

"It’s all about running the system to make the best decisions for the team and making sure I get the best out of the players around me.

"I’m a little older now and it’s not about individual battles with other players [for the flyhalf position]. Now I want to create tries, kick my goals and make sure we play in the right areas of the field.

"It is good for South African rugby though to have so many flyhalves coming through. Some of them are very young and they can take us forward for another six or seven years."

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