Five Predictions For South Africa v England
Ahead of their three-Test series in South Africa, we bring you our five predictions for the upcoming internationals between the Springboks and England.
A revitalised South Africa to heap further pressure on Eddie Jones: It has been a poor year for England with confidence low following an awful Six Nations campaign. With questions also surrounding Jones’ training methods and, as a result, player welfare in those sessions, there is a certain air of disharmony in English rugby at the moment. It will allow the Springboks to capitalise. While South Africa are rebuilding under Rassie Erasmus and their performance against Wales was pretty woeful, he is an astute appointment and they should have enough to see off the tourists 2-1.
Siya Kolisi to prove his worth as skipper: It has been noted that the Stormers flanker has not been on the best of form recently, so the pressure is on for the 26-year-old to re-find his best. Kolisi is also the first ever black captain of South African rugby in their 127-year history, but expect him to thrive on that responsibility. The back-row was second only to Malcolm Marx as the Springboks’ best player in 2017 and this is an excellent opportunity to display his capabilities once again.
Jamie George to take advantage of his opportunity: Dylan Hartley’s enforced absence will allow the Saracens hooker to take the starter’s jersey, which will no doubt please plenty of England fans, who have called for George to be first choice. Although the front-rower struggled for form post-Lions, the 27-year-old improved as the season went on. In fact, you get the feeling the performances of the Sarries contingent in general will hold the key to how England fare in South Africa.
Faf de Klerk to make a difference: The SARU has disbanded the 30-cap rule for overseas players, yet De Klerk is realistically the only beneficiary of the change in policy. They have struggled to find the requisite quality at scrum-half and the Sale Sharks man has improved since moving to England. His service has been sharp and he dictates the way the Premiership side play. The 26-year-old is also the most experienced of the quartet of half-backs available to Erasmus and they will need him to step up this month.