Can Rassie get loose trio balance right?
WATCH as Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus explains captain Siyamthanda Kolisi’s move to the blindside flank.
With a number of talented and versatile flanks in the Springboks’ Rugby Championship squad, captain Siyamthanda Kolisi is set to move to the blindside flank.
Kolisi started in the No.6 jersey in all three Tests against England in June and he played in that position for the Stormers in Super Rugby.
However, with talented openside flank Marco van Staden added to the squad and the return of experienced flank Francois Louw, Erasmus is set to accommodate his captain in a different position in the back row.
It will be interesting to see the make-up of the Boks’ loose trio in their six matches in the Rugby Championship. They also have No.8 and former captain Warren Whiteley back and in-form No.7 Jean-Luc du Preez.
Cyle Brink, who can play openside and blindside flank, also had an impressive season with the Lions this year.
“He [Kolisi] is brilliant over the ball, he is a great counter-rucker, but probably not one of the best poachers of balls or slowing down opposition balls. I don’t think he is world class in that area,” said Erasmus.
“With his line-out ability, he is probably a good option to try at blindside flank. He will always be in the team, he will be the captain.
“He played at No.8 when I coached him, so it is nice to have a guy like that and then build other guys around him. He will probably play a few games at blindside.
Erasmus said it wasn’t hard decision to retain Kolisi as captain, despite the return of Whiteley and veteran lock Eben Etzebeth.
“Siya carried himself well through a lot of emotional stuff on his shoulders [against England] and he played relatively well.
“I think you will see a Siya now who will start playing really well with the way he has been training in the last three weeks with us because I think all the hoohaa around the captaincy is starting to become normal now.
“I don’t really think there was a stage where I personally doubted that he should be captain,” Erasmus added.