Elton Jantjies to start for Pau against Racing 92
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JOHANNESBURG – Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies will make his second start for French Top 14 side Pau on Friday against Racing 92 (kick-off 8.45pm).
Jantjies, who has made a temporary move to Pau – as a medical joker – to help prepare him for the British and Irish Lions tour, will once again don the No 10 jersey, the club announced when they selected their team on Thursday.
Last weekend, the Bok flyhalf played 73 minutes for the club against Agen, and although it was not the perfect start – he missed several penalties, while slotting over only one – the 30-year-old still managed to show a touch of class with one try assist.
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The 47-7 victory over Agen lifted the battling south French club to 12th in the standings, one point ahead of Bayonne, who currently occupy the promotion/relegation play-off spot with 40 points. Racing 92, meanwhile, are third in the standings and are in the hunt for an automatic semi-final berth, and European Championship Cup qualification. Last November they narrowly beat Pau 24-22 at home in the first leg fixture.
Jantjies is still contracted to the Lions for the remainder of the season, and could possibly return to play for the Joburgers in their final Rainbow Cup South Africa match against the Stormers in the return leg on June 12 – perhaps earlier – if SA Rugby, the French club, Lions and player agree to the move, and it is in the interests of the Boks to do so. It has become quite clear in their first two matches, both losses to the Bulls and Sharks, that the Lions have missed their effervescent captain and flyhalf.
Due to Jantjies' departure, the long-term injury to Gianni Lombard, and a slight niggle to veteran Fred Zeilinga, the No 10 jumper's depth will face a stringent test on Saturday against the Stormers (kick-off 2pm) after coach Ivan van Rooyen took a leap of faith and a gamble on 19-year-old Jordan Hendrikse to start at pivot in the crucial, must-win clash.