4 Boks who MUST start against France

Handre Pollard (Gallo)
Handre Pollard (Gallo)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee is running out of time ... and quickly!

Saturday's 38-3 loss to Ireland was another low for the Boks under the former Stormers boss, and he must now turn things around in the remaining Test matches against France, Italy and Wales to stand any chance of seeing out the new year as the national coach. 

There were poor performances all over the park on Saturday, and as Coetzee plans for France in Paris he will surely be considering a few changes. 

There are a number of positions where, based on what we saw against the Irish, Coetzee's hand may be forced when selecting his side. 

The halfback pairing and centres, in particular, did not work for the Boks. 

Based on that, here are a few players who stand a good chance of working their way into the starting line-up for Saturday.

Pics: Gallo

Handre Pollard

It is surely time to hand the Bulls pivot his first Bok start since the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Elton Jantjies, for all of his flare and ability, is not functioning under the current Bok game style. He doesn't kick the ball far enough and in the northern hemisphere that is important. Pollard has had limited time off the bench since his return from injury, but there is no better time than now to turn to him. 

Rudy Paige

Ross Cronje's kicking display against Ireland was a disaster. He wasted so much ball by kicking it too far or too short, and if the Boks are going to play that way against France then they cannot back him again. Paige has had limited opportunity in a Springbok jersey this year, but he has given a good account of himself in most of his bench appearances. 

Lukhanyo Am

Damian de Allende is nowhere near the player he once was and, with limited options at inside centre, Am could be a good fit. He may have played his rugby at No 13 in Super Rugby, but Am is a No 12 by trade. The centre pairing of De Allende and Jesse Kriel showed no creativity on Saturday, while Am is a player who can make things happen with little to work with. He must be backed. 

Dan du Preez / Duane Vermeulen

With Pieter-Steph du Toit struggling with concussion, Coetzee may be forced into a change in his loose trio. In Du Preez, he has a natural No 8 should he want to move Francois Louw back to the side of the scrum. Then, there is also the experienced Duane Vermeulen, who is fit and available once more. In this kind of crisis, Vermeulen will be difficult to ignore.

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