If the combination that Heyneke Meyer’s Springboks have been running in at training are anything to go by, then impressive Sharks flanker Marcell Coetzee should cap off a remarkable rise over the last two seasons with a starting role in the Test side this weekend.
With the surprise omission of Heinrich Brussow now old news, I guess it’s not surprising that Meyer is looking at Coetzee as his starting option at 6, with provincial team mate Willem Alberts likely to be his foil on the blindside. Perhaps less expected, though, is the selection of Zane Kirchner, who many now say looks likely to start at fullback ahead of Pat Lambie.
Meyer looks likely to focus on combinations that know each other well… the entire Sharks front row, the Bulls 8-9-10 combination and a set of wings who have played 30 tests together. While many were expecting the same to apply in the second row, with Flip van der Merwe’s test experience making him a lower risk option than Eben Etzebeth, not to mention a provincial team mate of Juandre Kruger, according to the scribes at practice, it appears as though the 2.03m Stormers monster may get the nod after all – as one of three debutants in the side.
Possible Bok startiing lineup:
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jean de Villiers (capt), 12 Francois Steyn, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.