Springbok assistant coach Matthew Proudfoot believes flanker Jaco Kriel could be ‘really effective’ for the Boks team when they play Ireland in Port Elizabeth.
Kriel was named in Allister Coetzee’s first Springbok squad to take on Ireland in their three-Test series but has yet to be named in the match-day squad. South Africa and Ireland have one win each and Kriel is likely to make his debut in the clincher.
Proudfoot believes Kriel can make a game-changing impact from the bench but can be just as impactful if he were to start in the green and gold.
“Jaco has been really patient and delivering great performances for the Lions season after season, so he deserves his opportunity and I really hope that he can inject himself into the game in the same manner the bench did last weekend … If we can create a bit of space and really put the foot on the accelerator in the second half if we’re in that situation, then I think he’ll be really effective,” Proudfoot said.
“I think he can also do a job from the start. I don’t think he’s the type of player who is only an impact player, no, no, no. He’s really robust and tough.”
Proudfoot vehemently denied that Springbok loose-forward Francois Louw hasn’t been up to standard of late.
“I think it’s a myth, I can take you through his breakdown clips. I said to him in our one-on-one chat that I thought it was one of the best performances I’ve seen from a No 6 at the first breakdown, and every decision he made in our contact situations was superb.”
“I think people look at the game and how much he carries or steals, and judges him only on that, but there are so many different facets to his role. A No 6 is not just a fetcher, he controls a lot of contact situations, makes lots of tackles and has to make good decisions. Go look at the New Zealand players in that position; they don’t just fetch, when their wings are looking to chuck the ball inside that’s where you want your open-side flanker to be, and that’s also their role.”