Springbok coach Jake White admitted to being no closer to finalising his best No 10 after the Boks crashed to a 23-21 defeat against England at Twickenham.
Butch James played one of his best tests in the first hour, but left the field because of a knee injury. White said it was not a substitution, but a change forced by concern about James’s ongoing knee problems. Replacement flyhalf Andre Pretorius had a nightmare last 20 minutes and contributed towards the Boks’ self-destruction.
James, along with Jaques Cronje and Pierre Spies, were to be assessed medically on Saturday night. A decision on their participation for next weekend’s final test of the season would only be taken on Sunday.
Francois Steyn is an option to play flyhalf, having already played wing and fullback on tour, but White may still give Pretorius one final fling up north.
Pretorius was poor against Ireland, but the mitigating circumstance was that his pack was equally poor. Against England there were no such excuses. He missed a penalty kick for touch, conceded crucial points when caught in possession and generally was awful in a last quarter that cost the Boks victory.