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Bok coach goes with his…..tried and tested

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There will surely be some dissident voices already whipping Erasmus for not having given opportunities to certain members of his squad

COME THE MOMENT: Bok coach Rassie Erasmus has gone with a team that seems to be capable of handling the massive threat that Wales will bring tomorrow. Picture: Christiaan Kotze BackpagePix

Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus was always going to be on a hiding to nowhere when it came to his team selection ahead of the final Test of their end-of-year tour against Wales in Cardiff.

And so he has followed his guts and gone for his tried and tested charges as he made no changes to the starting team that beat Scotland last weekend with only Eben Etzebeth coming onto the bench in place of Lood de Jager.

There will surely be some dissident voices already whipping Erasmus for not having given opportunities to certain members of his squad.

And there is merit in those voices as the likes of Trevor Nyakane, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, JD Schickerling, Ruhan Nel and Sergeal Petersen have had to watch from the stands.

But the truth of the matter is that Erasmus just did not have the time and opportunity to blood-in some of the players especially considering how the Springboks began the tour with that controversial loss against England at Twickenham.

In the aftermath of the England game all the remaining Tests would have taken a win-at-all-cost flavour with Erasmus having won less than half of the Tests he had been in charge of this year.

Even after the wins against France and Scotland, Erasmus would have still felt under pressure to continue winning even though his team was still a few Tests behind their opposition in terms of depth and experience.

So it didn’t come as a surprise that Erasmus opted not to make any changes to his starting team as victory will be paramount over handing out caps just for the sake of it.

While the front row has hardly put a foot wrong in the past two Tests, it would have been refreshing if Erasmus had injected some hungry fatties for this all-important clash against Wales.

There is little that the second row of Franco Mostert and RG Snyman can be faulted for, while the loose trio combination of Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Duane Vermeulen looks like the strongest and most favoured by Erasmus.

He has also done well in retaining the halfback combination of Embrose Papier and Handré Pollard as they both played with intent and gave the team direction on attack in the game against Scotland. It is obvious that Erasmus is looking for cohesion and consistency in results; and that only comes with a consistency in team selection which is amplified by his predictable selections in the midfield and with that potent back three.

Winning for Erasmus will be the ultimate barometer by which he will be judged this year.

Springbok team (15-1): Willie Le Roux, Sbu Nkosi, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Handre Pollard, Embrose Papier, Duane Vermeulen, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (captain), Franco Mostert, RG Snyman, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff. Bench:Bongi Mbonambi, Thomas du Toit, Vincent Koch, Eben Etzebeth, Francois Louw, Ivan van Zyl, Elton Jantjies, Cheslin Kolbe.