As the last century ended, Nelson Mandela was resigning from public office. His 1999 farewell speech to Parliament closed with his dream that “all our children may play in the sun” and warning “the long walk continues”.
Rassie Erasmus, Springbok coach, crossed the Indian Ocean bound for Brisbane knowing he would have to shuffle his pack.
What he chooses to deal with when he shows his cards on Thursday will be interesting to say the least.
We have to assume that the centres, André Esterhuizen and Lukhanyo Am will be discarded and the loose trio of Warren Whiteley, Siya Kolisi and Francois Louw will be shuffled.
We also have to acknowledge that André Pollard, while performing poorly of late, is still a great distributor of the ball and can read the field well.
Putting Pollard at inside centre next to Damien Willemse at flyhalf with Jesse Kriel at outside centre may be a better hand.
Slotting Cheslin Kolbe at wing will bring a much needed accelerator and knowledgeable player of the game into the backline. Erasmus has no winning hand with Louw who, in two consecutive Tests, has been way off the mark.
Playing Pieter-Steph du Toit and Kolisi at flank and Whiteley at eighth can only be an improvement over last week.
To win, significant pressure has to be put onto Wallaby flyhalf, Bernard Foley.
A winning hand?
Wilco Louw – TH
Marx – H
Beast – LH
Mostert – L
Etzebeth – L
Pieter-Steph du Toit – F
Kolisi – F
Whiteley – 8th
LeRoux – FB
Kolbe – W
Dyantyi – W
Kriel – Outside centre
Pollard – Inside centre
Willemse – FH
De Klerk – SH