Jake explores No 8 options
13 Jun 2006
Springbok coach Jake White is considering bringing in Jacques Cronje for Joe van Niekerk at No 8 for the second Test against Scotland.
Van Niekerk has had two opportunities this season – against the World XV and in the first Test against the Scots – and by all accounts has been almost back to his best.
White told Die Volksblad’s Hendrik Cronje he was considering using Cronje in Port Elizabeth, either in the starting XV or as a second half substitute.
The other player in contention for the important No 8 position is Pedrie Wannenburg. According to Die Volksblad, White will also keep an eye on Pierre Spies, who is playing for the Baby Boks at the Junior World Cup in France.
Cronje has not had a chance to play for the Boks this year after appearing in every Bulls Super 14 match, mostly on the flank. Despite this White still wants to give him a run at No 8 for the Boks. “I will consider him,” White told Die Volksblad.
Cronje has not had the same impact as he did last season, but White is a huge fan and will argue he was played out of position which may have affected his overall performance.
“This Test gives me the opportunity to involve a player such as Jacques,” White said. “I plan some changes, but I want to make sure we remain competitive.”
“Our aim in every match is to put down that golden figure 59 that golfers strive for on their scorecard. We want to produce our best in every match, not only in some Test matches.â€