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Four Springbok players eager to impress against Romania

The Springboks will be taking on Romania in their second pool match of the Rugby World Cup at the Stade de Bordeaux on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 3pm) and will be aiming to clinch a big win over the rugby minnows.

With bonus points and points difference possibly coming into play to decide who will progress from the pool it is important for the Boks to secure a full house of points by a large margin to put themselves in the best possible position.

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It is also an opportunity for some of the fringe players to stake a claim for a spot in the starting line-up going forward. Here are four players who will be eager to impress against the Romanians:

Jean Kleyn

With Eben Etzebeth having been ruled out of training for seven to 10 days after picking up a shoulder injury against Scotland, Kleyn is the next player in line for the no4 jersey and will get his chance to shine against Romania. Although Etzebeth is expected to be in contention for the Boks massive pool match against Ireland next Saturday, the team management will be wary of rushing him back in.

That decision could be made moot by a big performance from Kleyn as it would give the Bok coaches confidence in him taking that momentum into the Irish match. It would also be a perfect game for Kleyn to be involved in as he started his international rugby career playing for Ireland at the 2019 World Cup.

Canan Moodie

With the form Canan Moodie was in coming into the tournament it was all but a certainty that he would be starting on the right wing for the Boks against Scotland. However an injury niggle ruled him out of the match, allowing Kurt-Lee Arendse to sneak into the side ahead of him and after a top performance against the Scots he has made a case to be backed as the starting right wing.

Moodie’s form is however too good to be overlooked, so the Bok management has to accommodate him in some way. Playing him at outside centre for the second game in a row gives Moodie a chance to put in another big show, as he did against the All Blacks, and if he impresses enough he may be considered to start there ahead of Jesse Kriel against Ireland.

Duane Vermeulen

Heading into the World Cup Duane Vermeulen was in the best form he has been in since the 2019 World Cup and it seemed like he had moved ahead of Jasper Wiese in the eighthman pecking order. However it was Wiese named to start against Scotland with Vermeulen coming off the bench which seems to indicate that the Bok management favours the younger understudy over the grizzled veteran.

Vermeulen will thus be eager to prove he still has what it takes to make a big impact from the start when he takes to the field against Romania. This is Vermeulen’s final hurrah with the Boks, as he will retire from international rugby after the World Cup and he will want to end with a bang.

Grant Williams

Although Grant Williams played off the bench against Scotland and has been picked in the starting side against Romania, he could find himself falling down the scrumhalf pecking order after the game. Williams will be featuring at right wing, a position he played at in his school days and although it will be good for him to start the game, it might count against him in the long run.

He is battling it out with three other scrumhalves in the Bok setup, and with Faf de Klerk considered first choice, Cobus Reinach and Jaden Hendrikse now get a shot to show what they can do against Romania as the starting and replacement scrumhalves. Williams will thus have to really impress on the wing to keep his name fresh in the mind of the selectors ahead of the rest of the World Cup.

from The Citizen https://www.citizen.co.za/sport/rugby/springbok-players-impress-romania/

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