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Springboks tactic sees Nienaber avoid Jantjies questions from media

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Jacques Nienaber’s Springboks team announcement from Buenos Aires on Tuesday passed off without a single question being put to him about the decision to send Elton Jantjies home on Sunday along with a staff member.

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A South African newspaper had alleged that the married Jantjies was involved in a tryst with the nutritionist for the Springboks squad when they played the All Blacks in the opening round of this year’s Rugby Championship in Mbombela.

However, when Nienaber hosted an online media conference from Argentina after he had named an unchanged Springboks XV for this weekend following the round four win in Australia, the hot topic of Jantjies’ removal from the squad was off limits.

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The head coach shared a top table media briefing with Elrigh Louw, one of the three changes made to the Springboks bench along with the inclusion of Faf de Klerk and Andre Esterhuizen. They respectively took over from Duane Vermeulen, Cobus Reinach and Warrick Gelant.

However, before proceedings got underway, Springboks media manager Zeena Isaacs addressed the 30-plus journalists on the Microsoft Teams call and insisted no questions about Jantjies were permitted.

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“We have got our team announcement today, you would have seen that our release dropped a couple of minutes ago so the squad has been announced,” she began. “As you would know it is an unchanged starting line-up with just three changes on the bench but we will get coach Jacques Nienaber to take you through that depending on questions and so forth.

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“Guys, also I would just like to appeal to everybody we’re not mentioning anything related to Elton Janjties. We will not entertain any questions so can I ask if you please stick to the task at hand – that is the squad announcement and the match that is coming up this weekend. That is essentially our aim here today. We have also got Elrigh Louw who is also on the table today with coach Jacques Nienaber.”

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