In response to the Springboks’ diving form this season, Mark Keohane has named Matchday 23 he would choose to face the Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday.
“Damian Willemse at No.10 would be a breath of fresh air for the beleaguered Springboks in Australia. It won’t happen, but it’s the Springbok team that I would like to see start in Sydney. Keohane writes on Keo.co.za.
AGREE or DISAGREE? : Vote below
Chosen strictly from players currently in Australia, Keohane’s squad feature big changes in key positions, including fullback, fly-half, scrum-half and hooker.
“I was disappointed a week ago with Game 23 picked to face Australia in Adelaide. There wasn’t enough injection of new faces. The Boks played like they were running on fatigue and several players experienced horror performances.
KEO: Something is wrong with the Boks
“I don’t remember Handre Pollard ever struggling so much, and I had so much faith in him. Faf de Klerk is a shadow of the inspiration of the 2019 World Cup and the yellow card against Nic White should have been awarded for stupidity and not for a blow to White’s face. It was unruly, illegal and just plain stupid.
“Warrick Gelant on the right wing looked lost in the Bok system, Frans Steyn looked like a player who hadn’t played a game since July and even Damian de Allende was not imposing. Damian Willemse and Lukhanyo Am were the exceptions to a Bok backline that didn’t shoot.
“Up front, a change of start is needed for the tight fives and the back line. So many of the World Cup-winning Bok forwards are seriously behind schedule, with Pieter-Steph du Toit in particular a shadow of the player who dominated in 2019.”
Keohane believes the changes would revive the ailing Boks and show Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber ‘there is an alternative to players who in the last 13 Tests have only had six wins’.
Watch: Swys tears up Bok’s attack
THE KEOHANE SPRINGBOKS: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Canan Moodie, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Bench: 16 Deon Fourie (hooker/loose striker), 17 Ox Nche, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Warrick Gelant.