All and sundry have already “picked” Jantjies at No 10 for the Springboks’ June Tests following the season-ending injury to Handre Pollard this week, and Pat Lambie set to miss a significant chunk of the Sharks’ campaign, also because of injury.
But while Ackermann backs Jantjies, he cautions against putting the cart before the horse. “It’s difficult to judge Elton now because this has been only his second week back with us (after playing in Japan for the last six months),” he said.
“Yes, he played last Saturday (against the Leopards and Valke in warm-up games) and had a good game, but one can argue about the quality of opposition and the fact our set-piece was never under pressure. All the ball that came Elton’s way was easy ball.”
Ackermann said he just wanted his first-choice pivot, who seems to be ahead of Marnitz Boshoff in the queue, to focus on the Lions and their Super Rugby campaign.
“The big challenge for Elton starts this week (against the Bulls in Polokwane). I just want him to play as well as he can, to play for the team and if he does that, the rest will take care of itself,” he said.
“But, it’s a fact Elton has matured a lot in his approach to the game. He has all the attributes to play at any level, and especially at international level. His decision-making will be key against the Bulls and hopefully he and the scrumhalf (Ross Cronje) will make the right decisions.” - Cape Times
Original source: Golden opportunity for Jantjies