Bok flyhalf Elton Jantjies. Photo: Backpagepix

Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies has once again made headlines – and unfortunately again for all the wrong reasons. Photo: Backpagepix

Bok coach reveals plans around under-fire Elton Jantjies

Bok coach Jacques Nienaber has acknowledged that it is currently very difficult for Elton Jantjies to work his way back into the team.

Bok flyhalf Elton Jantjies. Photo: Backpagepix

Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies has once again made headlines – and unfortunately again for all the wrong reasons. Photo: Backpagepix

Nienaber made 11 changes to his starting lineup for the team’s Incoming Series decider against Wales in Cape Town on Saturday as Eben Etzebeth earns his 100th Bok Test cap and Bongi Mbonambi his 50th.

Once again, there is place for Elton Jantjies in the side, with the 31-year-old having last featured in the first Test before being replaced at half-time after an error-strewn performance that once again drew the ire of supporters across South Africa.


With the Bok continuing to opt for a six-two forwards-to-backs split on the bench, Nienaber has admitted it won’t be that easy for Jantjies to get more game-time in the immediate future.

“He probably misses out because we’re going with 6/2 splits. If we were going 5/3, Elton would probably be in the mix,” said Nienaber.

“That’s unfortunately where we are, and that’s why I thought it was so important for us to give him some game time with Handre only arriving on that Sunday. It was the ideal opportunity for us, and he’s been working with us.

“He’s got 40 minutes, and I think the conservative way of selection from our coaching group would have been to go with the 5/3 split. But if we did that, we probably wouldn’t have seen Damian Willemse play No 10, so we decided to stick with the 6/2 split and that’s just where we are. I guess that is the way it is.”


Meanwhile, in a selection that surprised many, the Bok coach opted to reward Jaden Hendrikse with a second successive start at scrumhalf, while World Cup winner Faf de Klerk will play off the bench.

Speaking at the team’s swanky hotel, Arabella, near Hermanus in the Western Cape, Nienaber explained that they wanted to reward Hendrikse for his impressive performance last weekend, while building competition at scrumhalf.

“We all know what Faf brings and what a world-class player he is,” Nienaber commented. “However, we also saw Jaden’s performance (last Saturday) and thought he played really well. There is lots of competition and players knocking hard on the door.

“For established players who have been here before, won a World Cup and a Lions series, there will be a key focus on performing (well) week in and week out. But we also want to reward players who are knocking on the door (like Hendrikse).

“Jaden will now know that Faf will come hard at him to get his spot back, and the challenge for him will be to keep putting in consistent performances.”


Bok team to face Wales in Cape Town, with Hendriske at 9:

15 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) – 17 caps, 12 pts (1t, 2c, 1p)

14 – Cheslin Kolbe (Toulon) – 19 caps 18pts, 50pts (10t)

13 – Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks) – 27 caps, 25 pts (5t)

12 – Damian de Allende (Wild Knights) – 59 caps, 35 pts (7t)

11 – Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks) – 26 caps, 100 pts (20t)

10 – Handre Pollard (Leicester Tigers) – 61 caps, 613 pts (6t, 83c, 131p, 4d)

9 – Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks) – 3 caps, 5 pts (1t)

8 – Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers) – 12 caps, 0 pts

7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz) – 59 caps, 25 pts (5t)

6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Cell C Sharks) – 64 caps, 30 pts (6t)

5 – Lood de Jager (Wild Knights) – 57 caps, 25 pts (5t)

4 – Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks) – 99 caps, 15 pts (3t)

3 – Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers) – 47 caps, 5pts (1t)

2 – Bongi Mbonambi (Cell C Sharks) – 49 caps, 50 pts (10t)

1 – Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92) – 55 caps, 5pts (1t)


16 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) – 48 caps, 55 pts (11t)

17 – Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers) – 60 caps, 5pts (1t)

18 – Vincent Koch (Wasps) 33 caps, 0 pts

19 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 52 caps, 5pts (1t)

20 – Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs) – 20 caps, 5 pts (1t)

21 – Elrigh Louw (Vodacom Bulls) – 1 cap, 0pts

22 – Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles) – 37caps, 25pts (5t)

23 – Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz) – 73 caps, 60 pts (12t)

Bok record against Wales:

Played 39, Won 31, Lost 7, Drawn 1, Points for 990Points against 627, Tries scored 115, Tries conceded 52, Highest score 96, Biggest win 83 Points, Win % 79.


  • Saturday’s Test against Wales will mark only the second between the two sides in Cape Town.
  • The Springboks need to score 11 points to reach 1000 points against Wales.
  • Eben Etzebeth will play in his 100th Test match for South Africa and Bongi Mbonambi his 50th.  
  • Handre Pollard is the current record holder for most penalty goals against Wales (19), in just seven appearances. Percy Montgomery scored a second best of 10 penalty goals in his nine appearances against Wales.
  • Pollard is one of only three Springboks to pull off a drop goal in a Test match against Wales. He kicked a drop goal at Twickenham in London in 2015 (in the RWC quarter-final), while the other players were Hansie Brewis in 1951 in Cardiff, and Lionel Wilson in 1964 in Durban.


  • The total Test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 654.
  • There are 212 caps in the backline with 442 caps amongst the forwards. On the bench there are a further 99 caps.
  • The average caps per player in the backline are 30, the forwards 55, while the players on the bench average 40.