Coach Nienaber expects Elton Jantjies to be 'a lot sharper' after Wales howler

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When Elton Jantjies was yanked off the Loftus turf after 40 minutes in the first Test against Wales in early July, there were many who thought that could be the end of the road for him in a Springbok jersey. 

Jantjies, a veteran of 43 Tests and a World Cup winner, put up a woeful display in that match and he has not played since. 

With coach Jacques Nienaber's decision to back three backline players on the bench once more, however, Jantjies returns to the Bok squad for this Saturday's clash against Australia in Adelaide. 

With Frans Steyn also included on the bench, Jantjies will be the specialist flyhalf cover for Handre Pollard, who has started the last four Tests for the Boks. 

READ | Where's Willie, Boks? They're 'flyhalf-heavy' this week

Nienaber was probed on Jantjies' inclusion at his team announcement press conference on Monday, and while he acknowledged it was difficult to asses players who have had limited game time, he was confident the 32-year-old would be vastly improved against Australia. 

"Us going with a 5/3 split is a tactical thing and we have a specific plan. We believe it's the right plan, but we'll see on Saturday," said Nienaber.

"In terms of Elton's form, and others like Frans (Steyn) and Duane (Vermeulen) who haven't played, the only place where we've been able to see them is at training sessions.

"We really push the training sessions to be as hard as a game, or at match intensity.

"He's been performing well, so I expect him to be a lot sharper."

In other significant team news, Warrick Gelant starts at right wing in place of the concussed Jesse Kriel while Faf de Klerk returns at scrumhalf as Jaden Hendrikse moves to the bench. 

Kick-off on Saturday is at 07:30 (SA time).

Springbok team:

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Warrick Gelant, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Jaden Hendrikse, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn

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