Coet­zee’s flank­ing ma­noeu­vre: Kriel could get a start

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - JAC­QUES VAN DER WESTHUYZEN

HOME­TOWN favourite, Jaco Kriel, is in line to fea­ture for the Spring­boks in the third Test against France at El­lis Park on Satur­day.

A se­ries-end­ing con­cus­sion to Oupa Mo­hoje has opened the door for a new No 7 flank in the Bok side. Jean-Luc du Preez, who re­placed Mo­hoje in the sec­ond Test in Dur­ban last week­end and en­joyed a stel­lar out­ing, will be the favourite to grab hold of the blind­side flank po­si­tion, but na­tional coach Al­lis­ter Coet­zee has another op­tion to con­sider.

Siya Kolisi, who was Man of the Match in Dur­ban, could shift from open­side to blind­side and al­low Kriel to come into the start­ing XV in his favoured po­si­tion, with Du Preez com­ing off the bench.

What is clear, is Coet­zee is con­sid­er­ing a role for Kriel, and he’s likely to make a few other changes, too.

“Jaco has re­cov­ered tremen­dously well since the first week,” said Coet­zee, who didn’t con­sider the Lions man due to him re­cently re­turn­ing from a knee in­jury.

“He might even find him­self in the match­day 23. I can’t wait to see him get an op­por­tu­nity again. He’s been train­ing with a lot of con­fi­dence.”

Coet­zee though said he wanted to build “ca­pac­ity”, in his words, so might sim­ply con­tinue with Du Preez.

“There’s an op­por­tu­nity to build that ca­pac­ity with JeanLuc con­tin­u­ing as well. I would like to keep the con­ti­nu­ity go­ing. I’m not go­ing to change for the sake of change ... we’ve got good com­bi­na­tions go­ing, but there are cer­tain places where I need to see some play­ers, and this is an op­por­tu­nity for me to have a look at them.

“So, I might make one or two changes.”

Coet­zee said he was dis­ap­pointed that Mo­hoje would miss out this week­end. “It’s a mas­sive loss. We were happy with his game ... not only is he a line-out op­tion, but he’s got the abil­ity to run like a front lock, he car­ries hard, he’s strong in de­fence and he stops the op­po­si­tion’s mo­men­tum,” said Coet­zee. “His progress, his de­vel­op­ment and his con­fi­dence in terms of his de­tail are re­ally pleas­ing.”

Be­sides the se­lec­tion headache at flank, Coet­zee also has to de­cide whether to bring back con­cus­sion-free Jesse Kriel at out­side cen­tre.

“If I re­flect and look back at the first Test (when Kriel played out­side cen­tre) it is pleas­ing to see how well he played,” said Coet­zee. “He set­tled quickly at 13, but Lionel (Mapoe) had a chance in Dur­ban and also per­formed ... so it’s a good po­si­tion to be in.”

Coet­zee will name his team on Thurs­day.

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