Nienaber on why Kriel gets the nod over Nkosi
SPOTLIGHT: Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber says Jesse Kriel’s performance against Scotland was the main reason why the 27-year-old has kept his place on the wing.
Kriel started both of South Africa’s games [against Wales and Scotland] on their end-of-year tour in the No.14 jersey and he will do so again when the Boks face England at Twickenham.
Due to passport and visa issues, Sibusiso Nkosi only arrived in the United Kingdom after the Springboks’ tour opener against Wales, which the Boks won 23-18.
Nkosi, who was a regular starter in Rugby Championship after Cheslin Kolbe got injured in August, watched the Scotland game from the stands and he will do so again in London this weekend.
“There was a big discussion about maybe getting Sibusiso into the mix [for the England clash],” Nienaber told reporters during the online team announcement on Tuesday.
“He joined us a little bit late because of the issues he had with his passport and travel documents.
“I thought Jesse made the step up against Scotland, especially with the different variations from the Scots in terms of their kicking game and passing game.
“He adapted well and he had a good performance.
“For this end-of-year tour we want to keep momentum, but we also want to try a couple of things.
“We want to get some experience in certain players in certain positions so that we get some versatility.”
— Springboks (@Springboks) November 15, 2021
‘Elton was outstanding’
Nienaber also opened upon Handre Pollard’s return to the No.10 jersey, after Elton Jantjies started in that position in the 30-15 win over Scotland.
“We had certain internal goals and things that we wanted to try out on the end of year tour.
“I thought Elton was outstanding last weekend and it was good for us to give him a start. I thought in the games he started he was pushing hard.
“Handre did well when he came on and with Elton on the bench it gives us some versatility towards the end of the game.
“Whether you are chasing the game or are in control of the game, you can make certain substitutions and it gives us a little bit of versatility.”