CAPE TOWN - So, the Springboks have already won the series against England, and that’s great. But what would be even better is a series whitewash. And one way of doing that, I think, is getting into England captain Owen Farrell’s head, which shouldn’t be too hard.
Remember his incessant moaning about a “non-captain calling for a card” when the Boks spoke to Romian Poite after England’s little indiscretion at the lineout in Bloem? I can’t believe I find myself siding with Poite, but I had to feel for the guy as he had to listen to Farrell’s rant. And apparently that’s all it takes to make the England inside centre see red - being on the back foot and seeing the opposition speak up against their niggly ways.
So Boks, more of that. Speak up. Outplay them. And do it so well that you drive them so far over the edge of frustration that they feel tempted to resort to Vunipola-like klappe (you never know, Glen Jackson just might deem that worthy of a yellow).
I doubt it’ll take much, though. Eddie and his Roses don’t fancy losing much. (And if they lose, they might duck out of another media conference, like they did in Durban). Just stay in control, focus on your game, and let Jackson have the pleasure of dealing with Farrell and his mates. Just don’t let them influence the Kiwi ref too much...
Farrell will be up against a new Springbok centre pairing at Newlands, with Andre Esterhuizen and Jesse Kriel replacing Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am respectively.
“We’re privileged to have two players like that (De Allende and Esterhuizen) and a few others. There’s still a guy like Rohan (Janse van Rensburg) at the Lions, Pollard can also play 12, and then there’s Patrick Lambie, Damian Willemse and Frans Steyn who can play 10 and 12," Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus said about is changes in midfield.
“So we have to find the solution at 10,12 and 15 going forward. So I think Andre and Damian are fighting really hard to be in the World Cup squad. The weather at this stage looks dry, but we might get some rain in the World Cup and if they want to make the World Cup squad they must prove that they can handle wet weather, crowd noise, different referees and a lot of other factors.”
Rassie Erasmus has picked Warrick Gelant at fullback, Jesse Kriel and Andre Esterhuizen in midfield, Elton Jantjies at flyhalf and Chiliboy Ralepelle at hooker to face @EnglandRugby at DHL Newlands on Saturday (kick off at 17h05). #LoveRugby pic.twitter.com/5o81OxJiQN