JOHANNESBURG – How will Rassie Erasmus’ 6-2 bench split, used so successfully by the Springboks at the recent Rugby World Cup in Japan, impact Super Rugby next year?
That is one of the big questions doing the rounds at the moment following Erasmus’ decision and plan to utilise an almost full pack from the bench in the second half of his team’s matches in Japan.
Some observers, among them former England international Jeremy Guscott, have said World Rugby should in future limit the number of replacements that can be used from the bench, but others have said being able to use all eight replacements is essential considering the fast-paced and energy-sapping game that is played nowadays. Also, injuries have increased and due to safety concerns in the front row it is important to have two props and a hooker on the bench.
It is interesting though that it took so long for a coach and team to get the maximum benefit out of having eight bench-sitters.
And all it took was for the Bok boss to drop a backline player and replace him with a forward, giving him a full tight-five and one back-row player to come on in the second half and have an impact.