Jantjies: It is our time now

Sat, 26 Nov 2016 07:34

PRE-MATCH BUILD-UP: South Africa may finish their year in the red, but there could be a big pointer to the future in Cardiff on Saturday.

Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies, one of four Lions players in the backline to face Wales, said the young players are keen to make a statement.

The Boks come into the game on the back of a horrendous year-end tour - just  draw against the Barbarians, to go with defeats to England and Italy.

In fact the Boks come into Saturday's year-ending encounter with just four wins from 11 starts - a paltry success rate of just 36 percent.

However, both Jantjies and halfback partner Francois de Klerk feel a win over the Welsh will give the team some hope for the future.

And it is having a backline consisting mainly of the successful Lion team - with exciting additions like Johan Goosen, Francois Venter and Jamba Ulengo - that gives the reason to be positive.

Jantjies spoke of the "great energy and positive mood" in the Bok camp.

"I a looking forward to seeing younger players getting an opportunity and expressing themselves," Jantjies told the media ahead of Saturday's encounter.

"We would like to make a statement in the jersey."

Despite it being one of the most inexperienced backlines in a long time, Jantjies feel they can cope with the pressure of Test rugby.

"Francois [scrumhalf Francois de Klerk], [center] Rohan [Janse van Rensburg] and I have been playing together at our union [the Lions]," Jantjies said.

"It is exciting to see Rohan getting an opportunity and Swys [outside centre Francois Venter] is also playing good rugby.

"So there is a lot of confidence in the group.

"Obviously there are some experienced guys out, but now it is time for us to take to the stage."

He said they will look to get the hard-running Janse van Rensburg into the game by just "doing what we have been doing together".

"We must make sure we communicate well. The key for us is how we are going to use him."

De Klerk said the established Lions combination will have a vital role to play.

"It is always great playing next to Elton and with Rohan slotting in at No.12, that combination has been working well for us during the year," the nuggety scrumhalf said.

"We are very excited about the game and ready to take them on."

He added that it is a great opportunity for the Boks to end the year on a great note.

"It hasn't been a great year, but if we win against Wales we'll be able to pull a lot of positives from that."

Jantjies also said there is no lack of motivation.

"When wearing the Springbok jersey, there will always be that pride and hunger," the flyhalf said.

"You never know when it is your last Test.

"What I have seen this week is a lot of young players that the [Springbok] future can be built on.

"That is the positive side of it."