Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus is considering moving Jesse Kriel from outside centre to right wing against the All Blacks on Saturday in a positional change that has been necessitated by the unavailability of injured Makazole Mapimpi.
This means Lukhanyo AM‚ who was not part of the playing squad in the defeat to the Wallabies last weekend‚ is likely to move to No 13 in what will be the only positional change for the must-win clash at the Westpac Stadium.
“We have Cheslin Kolbe with us who played in the second half last Saturday against the Wallabies on the wing‚” said Erasmus this week about the possible changes.
“But we have some other options as well such as Jesse Kriel and even Lukhanyo Am who has played some rugby out on the wing.”
Erasmus has also hinted that Handrè Pollard‚ who started from the bench in the last match‚ could return to the starting line-up at flyhalf after Elton Jantjies was given an opportunity to start last weekend and gave a good all-round performance.
It is a move that is likely to be met with criticism in some quarters as Jantjies scored eight points and missed one conversion from a tight angle against the Wallabies. Pollard‚ on the other hand‚ struggled with the boot in the back-to-back matches against Argentina.
“This weekend we will probably go with Pollard and give Elton the last two minutes or so‚” he said.
“He (Jantjies) did brilliant things at times and he kicked very well at the posts against Australia.
“We will have to find the right combinations and find them quickly enough because we know what the consequences are if we don’t do that.”
Malcolm Marx is also in line to return to the starting line-up after Bongi Mbonambi started in Brisbane at hooker with AM the third change for Mapimpi who has since returned to South Africa to be treated for his knee injury.
Erasmus has a difficult choice to make at loosehead prop between Steven Kitshoff and veteran Tendai Mtawarira.
Possible Springboks Squad: 1. Steven Kitshoff‚ 2. Malcolm Marx‚ 3. Frans Malherbe‚ 4. Eben Etzebeth‚ 5. Franco Mostert‚ 6. Siya Kolisi (capt)‚ 7. Pieter-Steph du Toit‚ 8. Warren Whiteley‚ 9. Faf du Plessis‚ 10. Handrè Pollard‚ 11. Aphiwe Dyantyi‚ 12. Damian de Allende‚ 13. Lukhanyo AM‚ 14. Jesse Kriel‚ 15. Willie le Roux
Subtitutes: 16. Bongi Mbonambi‚ 17. Tendai Mtawarira‚ 18. Wilco le Roux‚ 19. RG Snyman‚ 20. Francois Louw‚ 21. Ross Cronje‚ 22. Elton Jantjies‚ 23. Cheslin Kolbe.
MAHLATSE MPHAHLELE- TimesLIVE