Adrian Jacobs is almost certain to be at outside centre when South Africa play New Zealand in the Tri-Nations rugby Test match here on Saturday.
The merits of Jacobs and Frans Steyn were still being debated on Tuesday.
Stephen Nell writes in Die Burger that Jacobs did particularly well in the first Test against Wales in Bloemfontein and Steyn failed to impress when he was given a run at flyhalf against Italy.
Some experts believe the talented Steyn should be an automatic choice for the SA starting lineup and that he should be at centre this week.
However, if the Springboks’ practice on Tuesday was any indication, Steyn won’t be in the run-on team and Jacobs will regain the No 13 jersey that Gcobani Bobo wore in the 26-0 victory over Italy.
It seems coach Peter de Villiers will retain Odwa Ndungane on the right wing and Butch James will be back at flyhalf after being rested for the match against the Italians.
All Black coach Graham Henry said on Tuesday it seemed the Springboks were out to play more attractive rugby under De Villiers’s coaching than they had done previously.
Thrive on turnover possession
“There are indications that they will use the ball a lot more. This will make them more dangerous,” Henry said.
However, South Africa should be wary of taking too many risks because Henry has selected a team that will thrive on turnover possession.
“I have not met Peter de Villiers but from what I’ve seen on television, he seems very enthusiastic,” the All Black coach said.
“The South Africans seem to enjoy taking the ball wide. They began well under De Villiers.”
The Springboks are popular visitors here and representatives of the New Zealand media enjoy De Villiers’s quips during news conferences.
However, the pressure is mounting. The All Blacks as well as the Springboks have done what they had to do against weaker opposition from the northern hemisphere. This week’s Test will show where they stand.
“I can’t see there being a bigger Test in the world than this one,” Henry said.
SW Editorial Note: So let’s put it to a vote…What is your take on the number 13 berth? Who should start and who should collect splinters?Tweet