'No-one is sure of their places' - South Africa coach Jacques Nienaber

South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber
South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber
©Steve Haag

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has insisted that there are places still up for grabs following their end of the year series.

The injury to Handre Pollard and the unavailability of Elton Jantjies allowed them to test out Damian Willemse consistently but the Boks coach said there are no guaranteed starters as they look to build towards next year's World Cup.

“No-one is sure of their places,” said Nienaber.

“We have Cheslin [Kolbe], [Makazole] Mapimpi, Sbu [Nkosi] so there is a lot of good competition in the group.

“At the start of the year we wondered who our best 10 is,” said the coach. “Now we have a couple of guys who can play 10 for us. There is real competition. I don't think anyone is safe".

South Africa had a mixed November series with their only wins coming against Italy and England while suffering close defeats against in-form Ireland and France sides.

“This is probably one of the most enjoyable four weeks I’ve had but we only won 50% of our games,” said Nienaber.

“I thought the working relationship between the coaching staff, the performance staff and the players, our game drivers there was clarity. I thought we gelled well.

“Though we didn’t get the results in the first two games I thought we were in with a chance.

“I thought we were creative in terms of the plans we made. We stuck to it and gave it a good go. People took ownership from a player and management point of view. That was pleasing.”