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Nienaber on why Kurt-Lee gets the nod over Jesse

SPOTLIGHT: Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber has explained his decision to give the No.14 jersey to Kurt-Lee Arendse for Saturday’s Rugby Championship opener against New Zealand in Nelspruit.


Ever since Cheslin Kolbe was ruled out with a fractured jaw there has been a lot of speculation about his replacement.

Arendse only has one Test cap to his name and that was South Africa’s 12-13 defeat to Wales in the second Test of the July series.

However, did enough in that Test to show the coaching team that he can fill Kolbe’s boots and keep out a player like Jesse Kriel, who has often covered the wing position in the past.

“We just thought that Kurt-Lee performed well in that second Test against Wales and there are a lot of similarities if you look at his game and Cheslin’s,” Nienaber explained.

“So, I think we get a like-for-like player there.

“It is probably about rewarding performance. He really played well on the wing [against Wales].”


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The best scrumhalf option

Meanwhile, scrumhalf Faf de Klerk makes his return to the starting XV.

Sharks star Jaden Hendrikse started the last two Tests against Wales, but De Klerk is viewed as the safer option for such a big encounter.

“Faf has been with us for a while and he is very experienced and we won big games with him in the past like the World Cup and the British and Irish Lions.

“It is nice to have him back in the mix.


“We will need him in this particular game and his skillset.

“That’s the reason we decided to go with him.”


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