Jantjies' Springboks experience still valuable - Nienaber

Jantjies' Springboks experience still valuable - Nienaber

Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber and director of rugby Rassie Erasmus have shared insight on the inclusion of Elton Jantjies in the 41-man squad currently in camp in Pretoria.

The reigning World Champions are fully engaged in preparations for the defence of their World Cup title in France, beginning with the upcoming Rugby Championship clashes against rivals Australia and New Zealand.

Though Jantjies has been absent from the national team since off-field scandals and being without a club towards the end of last year, he has now earned a recall at an opportune time with less than 80 days to the global spectacle.

Nienaber says injuries to flyhalves Handre Pollard and Damian Willemse forced their hand in turning to the 32-year-old as cover for the upcoming Tests.

"It's nice to get him in the mix for the two injured guys, but in a week's time, we can have all four [including Manie Libbok] flyhalves. Elton was, as you would think, he's probably our fourth choice. Again, I'm saying how lucky we are in terms of depth to have a guy of his standard as a fourth choice available to us," he told reporters.

With 46 Test caps to his name, Jantjies' experience weighed heavily in his favour as deputy to Libbok, who is currently the only other fit flyhalf in camp.

Erasmus was quick to reemphasise the peace of mind having Jantjies in camp brings as they look to avoid rushing Willemse and Pollard back to fitness.

"The benefit of that, which people don't always think about, is that there's no pressure on Handre to rush that injury now, there's no pressure on Damian, who will both be very important for us leading out of Rugby Championship into the warm-ups going into the World Cup. With not having a fourth flyhalf here, is almost 'when are you going to be ready guys? How are you going to be ready Handre?' Now it's 'take you time’”, said Erasmus.

There's already optimism Willemse would get the medical green light a week before the opening Rugby Championship clash against Australia and Loftus Versfeld Stadium on 8 July.

"I think there's a very good chance that Damian will be cleared next week. Which is great, but if we didn't have somebody, we would've been in a position, almost forcing him, and this gives us the opportunity to get those guys settled, slow and be 100 per cent ready when we select them," Erasmus claimed.