Springboks

Bok starting role for Gelant in Cardiff?

Warrick Gelant (Gallo Images)
Warrick Gelant (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Warrick Gelant could get a chance in the Springbok starting team when they tackle Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.

This hint was dropped by coach Allister Coetzee at a press conference in the Welsh capital on Monday.

Gelant made his Test debut last weekend when he played the last quarter of the Springboks’ 35-6 win over Italy in Padova.

The fleet-footed 22-year-old impressed with the manner in which he kept the Italian defenders busy and may get more playing time against Wales this weekend.

At Monday’s press conference, Coetzee described Gelant as an “exciting player”.

“As far as my knowledge goes, the stadium’s roof will be closed. It will be a nice field to play on and Warrick is at his best in dry conditions. Who knows, he may again be in the picture,” Coetzee said, as quoted by Netwerk24.

Should Gelant get the chance it will be interesting to see where Coetzee picks him - fullback or wing.

Gelant replaced Courtnall Skosan on the wing against Italy but his regular position is fullback, which is currently occupied by Andries Coetzee.

The Lions fullback was by no means a standout on the international stage in 2017, but the Bok coach appears to be satisfied with his efforts.

The national coach could also opt to play Gelant in place of Skosan at left wing.

Skosan has flattered to deceive in recent Tests, with his defensive vulnerabilities - especially on the high ball - badly exposed.

Meanwhile, the Boks also welcomed hooker Malcolm Marx and flanker Siya Kolisi to the training field on Monday.

Marx sat out the Test against Italy as a precautionary measure after he picked up a shoulder injury against France in Paris, while Kolisi was in South Africa for the birth of his second child. He re-joined the squad on Sunday.

Forwards Francois Louw, Duane Vermeulen and Franco Mostert, who are all based overseas, are not available for the Wales Test because it falls outside of the international window.

Springbok team doctor, Konrad von Hagen, again emphasised that the team will give experienced prop Tendai Mtawarira as much time as possible to recover from the groin injury he suffered against Italy so that he can be considered for selection. Thomas du Toit, however, joined the squad later on Monday as injury cover.

The Springbok team will be announced on Thursday afternoon.

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