Jean de Villiers shares thoughts on Bok flyhalf poser

Jean de Villiers (Gallo Images)
Jean de Villiers (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Picking a flyhalf suitable for his intended game plan is essential for Springbok coach Allister Coetzee.

This is the view of former Springbok captain and midfielder Jean de Villiers.

De Villiers was speaking on SuperSport's First XV rugby programme on Wednesday night when he shared his views on who should wear the No 10 jersey for the Boks in 2017.

“We need to establish now what game plan we want to play as the Springboks. If the focus is (on) the Springboks and eventually the 2019 World Cup, what game plan do we want to play? Then you decide which flyhalf can fill that spot with that game plan,” De Villiers said.

De Villiers said he didn’t believe in picking the in-form No 10 and then deciding which game plan suits the player best.

“I don’t believe you put someone there and then say the other 14 guys must adapt to that guy,” the former Stormers centre continued.

“If you look at Super Rugby... if you say you want to play an expansive game, then Elton (Jantjies) and Lionel (Cronje) fits the bill... Fred Zeilinga... these kind of guys.

“But if you say we want a conservative kicking game, then suddenly it’s a Morne Steyn. Decide how you want to play, pick a flyhalf that can play that way. Don’t pick a flyhalf and tell him to play differently.”

With Handre Pollard out injured, Curwin Bosch at the Junior Springboks and Pat Lambie only recently returning to action, the discussion about who Coetzee will pick as his flyhalf for the France series has heated up.

When probed on who he'd pick, De Villiers responded: “Forget about the game plan, if it’s purely on the form of Super Rugby at the moment, then it’s Elton Jantjies.”

Regarding a possible selection for Southern Kings pivot Cronje, De Villiers added: “I think it’s a long shot probably for Lionel, but the fact that the team is doing well, suddenly we’re starting to talk about the individuals within that squad. So I think there’s a massive thing to learn there as well: if the team performs, the individuals look better as well..."

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