Ackermann: ‘Jantjies needs freedom’

Lions coach Johan Ackermann has called on Allister Coetzee to put his trust in Elton Jantjies and “let him play”.

Jantjies has been under the spotlight since making his comeback to the Springboks in June after some stellar performances for the Lions in their Super Rugby campaign.

However, the fly-half has struggled to translate his Super Rugby form to the Green and Gold where his decision-making, kicking and defence has been questioned.

“If Allister believes Jantjies is the player he wants going forward, then I feel he should put his trust in Elton and give him enough playing time,” Ackermann told Netwerk24.

“That’s what we did with Elton at the Lions and it worked. We told him he was the player we wanted to invest in and that we would support him. We also gave him enough game time and the freedom to assert himself on the game and that brought the best out of him.

“It’s important for his confidence that he knows there is belief in his ability and he has the freedom to play the situation as he sees fit. I don’t know what the situation at the Springboks are and how much freedom he has on the field. I can’t speak on that but I feel we must look at Elton as the total package,” Ackerman continued.

“It’s also not just about his own game but how he functions in his combination with Faf de Klerk. At the Lions a lot of our success was built on them working as a combination. Much of elton’s success in a game depends on what Faf is doing.

“Elton is a wonderfully instinctive player who has a very good understanding with Faf, but I don’t know what their situation at the Springboks is and whether or not they have to play according to a specific style.”