Rugby News

Rugby-Erasmus happy with South Africa flyhalf options

CAPE TOWN, Sept 29 (Reuters) - South Africa’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus believes there are no shortage of options to replace injured flyhalf Handre Pollard at the Rugby Championship in Australia.

Pollard will miss the Southern Hemisphere competition, and possibly the build-up to the British & Irish Lions series next July, after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligaments while playing for French Top14 side Montpellier this month.

He was integral to the Boks’ World Cup win in Japan last year with his tactical kicking and ability to control the game from flyhalf.

“In terms of a team man and someone who served the side, Elton (Jantjies) really stood out at the World Cup in the way he helped us prepare,” Erasmus told reporters.

“And when he’s playing with structure and a good forward foundation, he’s unbelievable. He was pushing hard for Handre’s spot.

“Then there’s Damian Willemse, who has gone to a World Cup and who can do a job at 10 and 15 (fullback). Even Frans Steyn can slot in if needed. Curwin Bosch, if he gets a good run, is someone to watch.”

Defending champions South Africa are yet to confirm their place at the Rugby Championship, which will be played from Nov. 7–Dec. 12, as they await government approval to travel and debate concerns around player welfare with their domestic season set to start on Oct. 10. (Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Ed Osmond)