Rassie Erasmus had been unsure of his best option in the position, trying out Andre Esterhuizen and Damian de Allende in the position and at one stage last year even toying with the idea of moving Handre Pollard there.
He eventually opted for De Allende, restoring him to the inside centre berth he occupied with distinction at the 2015 event, and the coach’s instincts have been richly rewarded.
Six weeks into the World Cup and a few days before the final, De Allende’s detractors have either been silenced or have changed their tune such has been the 27-year-old’s form, especially in the quarter-final against Japan and the semi-final against Wales.
I believe De Allende was the best Bok on show in those matches, and the reason is because Rassie is playing him to his strengths. He is not being tasked as a playmaker but is far more gainfully employed using his considerable strength -105 kgs; 1.90m.
His try against Wales was power personified and against Japan he scored a similar one that should not have been disallowed for crawling (he wasn’t held).