Young guns or Jean?
AussieBoer is so glad Heyneke Meyer 'listened' to his advice to experiment with Jesse Kriel against the World XV.
Jesse Kriel and Damian de Allende's combination and performances, are the most exciting aspects of the three games the Springboks played so far.
It is too early to compare any centre after two Test caps to the Boks and World's best No.13 ever – Danie Gerber.
However, Kriel is a closer protege than Jan Serfontein, who some claimed might become the new 'Danie'.
Serfontein is talented, no doubt, but he is an inside centre.
Although Gerber and Willie du Plessis played right and left centres, instead of inside and outside, at first, Gerber did 'specialise' himself in the outer channel later in his career.
Why is Kriel so much more of a threat than Serfontein?
Firstly, Kriel is a No.13 who has raw explosive pace over the first 20 meters and he has the ability and speed to take the outside gap – ala Gerber and Brian O'Driscoll.
Serfontein has a good rugby brain. However, at the Bulls he has become more of a one-dimensional crash-ball centre with his primary focus is just to get over the advantage line. Serfontein didn't let the Boks down, but, didn't excite or impose himself like the current young guns.
Damian de Allende is the most lethal SA player during the whole 2015 season so far.
Not only does he beat his opponents at will, he showed that he has great distribution skills as well. Yes, there are some critics claiming his defence is suspect, but, most tall centres struggle with that. That's where the coaching must play a role.
Bottom line is that Jan Serfontein's World Cup place in the squad is under pressure with Lionel Mapoe and JP Pietersen as players who can cover both wing and centre.
AussieBoer believes that De Allende and Kriel is the future and with Handré Pollard, Pat Lambie and Willie le Roux, future Boks sides could become as attacking as the Wallabies and All Blacks with the right coaching team.
Add Seabelo Senatla or Cheslin Kolbe, boy oh boy!
That brings AussieBoer to Jean de Villiers.
If, Jean is fit enough, he is a must to captain the Boks.
The Boks lost the last two Tests in the dying moments and many, even Meyer, believes it was due to a lack of experience. Jean has proven himself to be a great and popular captain on and off the field.
Question who is to be 'sacrificed'? De Allende of Kriel?
For this World Cup play De Allende at No.12 and De Villiers at No.13. De Villiers has played 10 Tests at outside centre and 14 Tests on the wing.
During the game he and De Allende can swap positions on occasions and do like Gerber and Willie Du Plessis did, play left and right centres.
Jesse Kriel can be on the bench with Lambie/Pollard and Pienaar/Reinach.
To be honest, none of the current Boks wings are great 'finishers' on current form.
JP Pietersen is lazy, Cornal Hendricks' defence is suspect and Bryan Habana always breaks inside or only score with and open tryline.
So, unfortunately politics won't allow this, playing Kriel on the wing is another option, admittedly a gamble, but not too farfetched.
If Francois Hougaard did it, why not Jesse?
Tana Umaga, Stirling Mortlock, Philippe Sella all had a stint on the wing at some stage.
Even Tim Horan has one Test cap on the wing.
Fullback, Kriel's position with the Bulls, often play on the wing – Serge Blanco, Andy Irvine, Ben Smith, Corey Jane, Israel Dagg all did.
For those who think outside centre is 'too far' from the game, wake up.
At outside centre you have more time to analyse the situation and what's going on.
Hookers and locks, for example, sometimes – before their heads are out of a scrum – a try have been scored.
They don't see the opponents' backline set-up, etc.
Tana Umaga, Serge Blanco, Brain O'Driscoll, Andy Irvine, Basie Viviers all captained Test teams from not 'close to the game/ref'.
Point is, that the vice-captain (most likely Victor Matfield, can make calls up front and motivate the pack) and De Villiers make tactical decisions.
De Villiers is charming and calm and refs and teammates like that.
AussieBoer (Kevin D)
Vote on poll who would be your centre combo for Boks in play-off games?