Boks to back Jesse Kriel at wing?

Jesse Kriel (Gallo)
Jesse Kriel (Gallo)

Cape Town - Jesse Kriel could start at right wing for the Springboks when they tackle the All Blacks in a Rugby Championship encounter in Wellington on Saturday.

According to Netwerk24, whose reporter Hendrik Cronje is in New Zealand covering the Boks, coach Rassie Erasmsus could pick Kriel ahead of the inexperienced Cheslin Kolbe at right wing.

Kolbe replaced Makazole Mapimpi in the 34th minute of last weekend’s 23-18 loss to Australia in Brisbane.

Mapimpi flew home after picking up a knee injury and no replacement was called up by Erasmus.  

It was Kolbe’s Test debut but it appears as though his inexperience will count against him this weekend.

Lukhanyo Am is likely to replace Kriel at outside centre, with Kolbe remaining on the bench.

In Kriel's 33 Tests, he has played on the wing twice.

The report on the Afrikaans website added that Handre Pollard may replace Elton Jantjies at flyhalf and Malcolm Marx would return at hooker in place of Bongi Mbonambi.

Erasmus, who will name his team of Thursday, explained the decision not to call up a replacement.

"We have a squad of 30 players here in Wellington and we’re not going to call up a replacement," Erasmus said Monday.

"Makazole flew back today (Monday) and if we call up someone in his place, he will only arrive here on Wednesday and have one training session with us."

Saturday's Test is scheduled for 09:35 (SA time).

Probable Springbok starting XV:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Jesse Kriel, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff

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