Well, it looks like we’re going to pay a hefty price for our somewhat scrappy win over Six Nations champions Wales yesterday.
Both Bakkies Botha and Adrian Jacobs look to have suffered tour-ending injuries. The former appears to have received a little poetic justice and was on the receiving end of an eye gouge. The latter has allegedly done a medial ligament in his knee.
Finding a replacement for Botha is clearly a priority, as Andries Bekker showed yesterday that he’s just not an effective foil for Victor Matfield in Northern Hemisphere conditions. Expect Danie Rossouw to come into the number 4 jersey for next week’s test against the Scots, but surely Johann Muller must be summoned to provide second-row cover to the tour party?
As for Jacobs – well, with Frans Steyn and Jacques Fourie already in the tour party as centre cover, I would argue that it doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense to replace him at all. The official centre standby is Wynand Olivier, but I really fail to see what would be achieved by adding him to the tour party, since he is unlikely to get gametime ahead of Jean de Villiers, Steyn or Fourie. If a backline replacement is needed at all, Peter Grant should probably get the call, since flyhalf is the area where there is no real cover in the squad. Ruan Pienaar’s performance yesterday was encouraging for sure, but if he were to go off injured, we’d be up the proverbial creek, particularly given that Jacobs himself is the only other flyhalf option in the squad outside of Frans Steyn.
I’d be tempted to say, though, that if a replacement is needed at all (which I don’t really think it is), we could do worse than to bring out another forward in Jacobs’ place. An established tighthead such as Jannie du Plessis would not go amiss, but given the inability of the Bok loose forwards to really assert themselves against the Welsh yesterday, my shock pick to join the tour party would be none other than Jean Deysel.
It’s really touch and go, though. If I were the Bok management, I’d get Muller over there and rather save some money than fly out another back.Tweet