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Sink or swim for Warrick Gelant

By RugbyPass
Warrick Gelant /Getty

Springbok head coach Rassie Erasmus is eager to see how Warrick Gelant handles the pressure in the third and final Test against England at Newlands on Saturday.


Gelant, who replaces Willie le Roux in the No.15 jersey, is one of four changes to the Bok backline that wrapped a series victory against the English in Bloemfontein.

“We all know what he [Gelant] can do with ball in hand,” Erasmus told reporters after revealing his team for the third Test.

“He produces some wonderful clearance kicks from his own 22 – he is very accurate and always [kicks the ball] to the other side of the halfway line with his left or right foot. You don’t get that often nowadays at this level for some reason, but he can do it with both feet.

“The nice thing is that if it is wet we will learn a lot about him. If it is dry we will have a typical Warrick Gelant play. If it is wet we will see how he handles it and if he doesn’t handle it well, we’ll work on it and get him better at it.

“If we have to change him in the game, Willie is there who knows wet weather and we will put him on. But hopefully, if it is wet he [Gelant] swims well. If he doesn’t we will fix it after the game.”

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The other changes to the Bok backline sees Andre Esterhuizen and Jesse Kriel move to the midfield, while Elton Jantjies gets a start in the No.10 jersey.

“It is not a big disruption. The No.10, No.12 and No.13 are exactly the three that started in the Welsh Test match in the United States so there shouldn’t be a lack of understanding or rhythm there and Warrick has been consistently knocking on the door and playing really well for the Bulls.

“I guess what Willie just had on him [Gelant] most of the time was experience. If you consider [Aphiwe] Dyantyi and S’bu’s [Sibusiso Nkosi’s] experience, we would have been nervous to also have a guy like Warrick in the back three for the first two Tests.

“At least the wings have two caps under their belts now and they got a little bit more experience with Warrick there and obviously Jesse brings 31 Test caps into the mix, so it is definitely a bit of a risk, but we have to see how they do under pressure,” Erasmus added.



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