June 19, 2018 / 1:02 PM / 3 months ago

Jantjies credits 'special' Erasmus for Bok improvement

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa flyhalf Elton Jantjies believes it is coach Rassie Erasmus’ attention to detail that has seen the side claim back-to-back test wins over England and be on the brink of a series clean sweep in Cape Town on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: South Africa's rugby team new coach Rassie Erasmus gestures during a media briefing in Johannesburg, South Africa, March 1, 2018. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

Erasmus replaced Allister Coetzee this year and after a narrow loss to Wales with a second-string side in Washington earlier this month, has secured a home series win against the touring English with a game to spare.

The Springbok side have been markedly improved with ball in hand and their tactical kicking this season, and Jantjies, who lost his starting berth to fit-again Handre Pollard, says it is down to the influence of Erasmus.

“Rassie is someone special for this group. He highlights things that you never actually knew were happening on the field,” Jantjies told reporters on Tuesday.

“The things he identifies from his point of view ... I promise you there is not a lot of coaches that are actually looking at those types of things, so that is definitely something that improves this group a lot.

“It is nice to see that we have been able to find a balance between running, passing and kicking. That is where we have improved since 2016.”

Jantjies is expected to play some part in the third test against England at Newlands having been dropped from the squad for the 23-12 win in Bloemfontein this past weekend.

He could even start, with Erasmus having suggested there would be “four or five” changes for the final game.

Aside from Pollard, Jantjies also faces competition from Robert du Preez, who earned his first cap against Wales, but welcomed the depth in the squad.

“It is very good for South African rugby to have a few talented flyhalves that are coming through and they are still very young, so they can take us forward for another five or six years,” he said.

Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Alison Williams

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