Bright Bok future predicted for red-carded Arendse
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has predicted a long and prosperous international future for rookie wing Kurt-Lee Arendse.
The 26-year-old was named as a replacement for the injured Cheslin Kolbe in the South African team that face New Zealand in Nelspruit this past weekend.
And he fulfilled the role with aplomb.
Playing in just his second Test for the Springboks, Arendse produced a sublime performance and was a vital part of the Springboks’ 26-10 win over the All Blacks.
The wing displayed a great array of skills and scored his first international try at the packed and vibrant Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.
However, his near-perfect performance was tainted with a red card – which he received after a misjudged aerial contest with Beauden Barrett in the 74th minute.
Following the nasty collision, Arendse had to be stretchered off the field with a concussion – which is likely to rule him out of the return encounter at Ellis Park next week.
“Kurt-Lee is going to play a lot of test matches for the Boks in the future,” Nienaber told a media scrum in his post-match debrief.
“He was excellent and did exactly what we thought he would do.”
#⃣OPINION: @King365ed rates the @Springboks after their 26-10 demolition of the @AllBlacks in #Nelspruit on #Saturday #Rugby🏉#RugbyUnion🌍#RSAvNZL🇿🇦V🇳🇿
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) August 6, 2022
With Kolbe out of action with a fractured jaw and Arendse facing a ban – as a result of the red card – to go with the likelihood of facing a concussion-enforced lay-off, the Boks look to be very thin on the right wing ahead of the second Test against New Zealand in Johannesburg this coming Saturday.
When asked if he will seek replacement outside the camp, Nienaber left the door open for such an option.
“We still have Jesse Kriel, who can play on the wing,” the coach said.
“And Warrick Gelant is another option available to us.
“We have options.”
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) August 7, 2022
Jaden stepped up well
Nienaber is also awaiting a medical update on the injuries to Arendse and scrumhalf Francois de Klerk – both of whom will have to follow the Head Injury Assessment protocol before the Boks know when they will be able to return.
De Klerk was knocked out cold inside the first minute in Nelspruit, with his attempted tackle on All Black wing Caleb Clarke.
He was replaced by Jaden Hendrikse and the young No.9 is likely to get a starting role at Ellis Park – given the uncertainty over De Klerk.
“Jaden stepped up well, and we are very fortunate that we have quality scrumhalves,” the coach said – pointing to the rash of quality No.9s like De Klerk, Hendriks, Cobus Reinach, Herschel Jantjies and Grant Williams.
“There’s a lot of competition in the squad.
“The competition is fierce and we backed Jaden in the Test match against Wales [in July] and he wasn’t nervous at all when he came on.
“We will continue to back him.
“He knows what to do and plays good rugby.”
*Photo credit: Johan Orton