De Allende and Esterhuizen 'have more similarities than differences'

De Allende and Esterhuizen 'have more similarities than differences'

Springbok assistant coach Felix Jones has opened up about the riches of talent in the midfield for South Africa.

Damian de Allende arguably cemented his place as first choice inside centre with another superlative performance against Scotland the the Boks' Rugby World Cup opener in Marseille on Sunday.

The number 12 boasted some sterling numbers, making 15 carries for his 141m gained and beating nine defenders, helping the defending world champions to a dominant 18-3 win.

However, the barnstorming Esterhuizen is in red-hot form himself. Featuring at 12 for the Boks in their 35-7 demolition job of the All Blacks at Twickenham, Esterhuizen made eight carries for 91m, beating three defenders and making 12 tackles.

This makes for a selection headache, but it's a great problem to have.

"They have more similarities than differences," Jones told

"Obviously [they are] two very large, physical men. Both have demonstrated and shown really deft touches, along with an ability to move the ball.

"[They also have] good decision-making capabilities, a good kicking game - be it a long kicking game or short kicking game.

"And then also both of them have shown good abilities to connect and adapt to different players left or right of themselves. I would say there are more similarities among them than differences."

Jones also heaped praise on the increasing attacking prowess of the Springbok backline, which should see several changes for Sunday's clash against Romania.

"I think the introduction of [new] guys over the past 18 months - Manie [Libbok] in particular - has been has been brilliant in terms of what he™s brought and the way he sees the game," added Jones.

"And then obviously, I mean, it's been incredibly exciting seeing the emergence of guys like Kurt-Lee [Arendse] and Canan [Moodie], who are competing so greatly with the more experienced campaigners in Cheslin [Kolbe] and Makazole [Mapimpi].

"I think there's still plenty of work to be done - plenty cohesion still to improve on - but generally speaking, the confidence is good and they're working well together."

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