Coetzee: Why I didn't pick Jaco Kriel

Jaco Kriel (Gallo)
Jaco Kriel (Gallo)

Cape Town - With no specialist fetcher in his squad, many thought that Springbok coach Allister Coetzee would turn to Jaco Kriel for Saturday's clash against France at Loftus. 

Instead, he has gone for a loose trio of Warren Whiteley, Oupa Mohoje and Siya Kolisi. 

Kriel, who was exceptional for the Lions in the early stages of the Super Rugby season, has only just recovered from a knee injury that kept him out of his side's three week tour to Australia in April and May. 

He also missed the Lions' clash against the Bulls on May 20, and finally made his return when he came off the bench in a 54-10 win against the Kings on May 28. 

"He's had 20 minutes of rugby against the Kings and I think it would be better for Jaco to put some more hard work in," Coetzee explained at his team announcement on Thursday.

"He's maybe a week ahead of his rehab and he's recovered well, but I think it's just the 20 minutes he's had under his belt."

With Duane Vermeulen out injured for the France series, the Boks were crying out for some added muscle in their loose trio, and they certainly have that in the form of Mohoje. 

The Cheetahs flank played seven of the Boks' 12 Tests last year, and on Saturday he will have another opportunity to make the No 7 jersey his own. 

"If you look at those three loose forwards in terms of what we want, we want a good lineout option," added Coetzee.

"We know Warren is a great lineout option but we need the fourth one in Oupa Mohoje and he's been very good at that. If you look at what he also brings defensively, he's very good."

Kolisi, meanwhile, appears to be the gamble. 

He has played most of his rugby at No 7 for the Stormers this season, but Coetzee sees the right qualities in him.

"You've got Siya Kolisi ... a big ball carrier who also plays a similar role on the ground, playing towards the ball," said the coach.

"He understands that role and he also understands the role of turning the ball over.

"I think that's a good balance."

Saturday's match kicks off at 17:00.


South Africa

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Dillyn Leyds


15 Brice Dulin, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Gaël Fickou, 11 Virimi Vakatawa, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Loann Goujon, 6 Yacouba Camara, 5 Yoann Maestri (captain), 4 Julien le Devedec, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Clément Maynadier, 1 Jefferson Poirot

Substitutes: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Eddy Ben Arous, 18 Mohamed Boughanmi, 19 Bernard le Roux, 20 Kévin Gourdon, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Jean-Marc Doussain, 23 Vincent Rattez
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