Jantjies and Jantjies entrusted with marshalling Bok game plan
Bok coach looks to Herschel Jantjies and Elton Jantjies for the x-factor against the Wallabies
Jantjies and Jantjies is not the name of a law firm but the new Springbok scrumhalf and flyhalf sheriff combination in town for Saturday’s Rugby Championship opener against Australia at Ellis Park.
They are new in that Elton Jantjies and Herschel Jantjies have never played together‚ but they have been entrusted with marshalling SA’s game plan and the route forward for what will be a crucial Test match.
Elton‚ with 33 Tests and over a 100 Super Rugby games‚ is experienced and proven, while Herschel is raw but prodigiously talented.
Herschel is one of three debutants‚ with former Stormers and current Toulouse loose-forward Rynhardt Elstadt and Bulls loosehead prop Lizo Gqoboka making their international bows. Elstadt will start at flank while Gqoboka will come off the bench.
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus had a clear plan on how he was going to use his players‚ but with the kind of form Herschel exhibited‚ he was going to be difficult to ignore.
“In terms of Herschel‚ we know exactly what we have with the likes of Ivan van Zyl‚ Embrose Papier and Louis Schreuder. All of them had a good run last year but Herschel and Cobus [Reinach] both knocked the door down.
“When Herschel came up against one of the best guys in Super Rugby‚ he stood his ground and had some wonderfully consistent games‚” Erasmus said. “He’s slotted in really well and it’s helped that there’s a few Stormers guys in the Springbok squad.
“Rynhardt Elstadt has proven himself in France but it’s Test match rugby so he’ll have to make the step up.”
While there have been talks of Erasmus fielding an experimental team‚ the formidable nature of the pack debunks that myth.
Eben Etzebeth‚ who will captain the side‚ starts alongside Lood de Jager, while Pieter-Steph du Toit and Francois Louw complete the back row. A front row of Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira‚ Bongi Mbonambi and Trevor Nyakane cannot be laughed at.
The back three will consist of fullback Warrick Gelant with Makazole Mapimpi and S’bu Nkosi on the wings, while Andre Esterhuizen and Jesse Kriel are the starting centres.
A bench consisting of Schalk Brits‚ Marcell Coetzee‚ Cobus Reinach and Frans Steyn has a fair bit of experience.
Australia will announce their match-day 23 on Thursday and Israel Folau’s name will not be there.
Erasmus though said that does not make them a weaker team.
“He’s very good in the air. However‚ that’s one area where we improved a lot last year. “When we played Australia last year‚ they only kicked contestable balls to wherever Israel was on the field‚” Erasmus said.
“They interchange quite a lot on the field but they’re going to miss Folau because he’s a world-class player. They interchange positions though regardless of the number one wears on the back. They will be less of a threat from an aerial perspective.”