Elstadt the new Danie Rossouw?
Via Rob Houwing @ Sport 24
It is hardly a major secret that Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer favours brawny customers who thrive on physicality at blindside flank.
Elstadt did not make the Bok camp cut, but that may be partly because the 22- year-old is gradually finding his feet again back in the position after spending last year’s Super Rugby campaign as commendably efficient second-row partner for Andries Bekker.
The 2012 season has carried strangely mixed blessings thus far for Elstadt, whose lock credentials have inevitably taken a knock through the truly stellar emergence of Eben Etzebeth in the No 4 shirt.
But he has managed to stay an essential component in the starting mix anyway, considering the injury jinx at loose forward which has allowed his versatility to be very gratefully seized upon at No 7.
After an understandably moderate start to his return chapter as a loose forward, Elstadt appears to be going from strength to strength in the role now -- to such an extent that a firebrand showing at Mr Price Kings Park might yet see him fast-tracked into Bok plans.
At 118kg himself and 1.96m tall, he fulfils many of Meyer’s requirements for a blind-sider.
“Rynhardt has done an outstanding job for us (in that position),” Stormers coach Allister Coetzee enthused to Sport24 this week.
“It helps that he’s played there before, though last season we just felt he’d be better utilised as a front lock with his aggression, hitting of rucks and agility in the lineout.
“Ball-carrying, close targets ... he really did well last year. But when we were under pressure with loosie injuries this time, we knew we could bank on Rynhardt. He’s the sort of guy who would run at a wall if you told him to; he has a high pain threshold.
“With continual play back at No 7, he’s improved tremendously as the season’s gone on and he gives our squad the sort of versatile value someone like Danie Rossouw gave (to the Bulls and Springboks).”