Five Springboks who need to pull up their sock in 2018

Lood de Jager Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

There hasn't been a lot of Springboks who have covered themselves in glory in 2017.

After a top start to the year with five successive Test wins against France and Argentina, the Boks only managed two more victories in their last eight matches of the year.

With a lot of changes in personnel and coaching staff expected in 2018, KweséESPN looks at five Boks who need to up their game in 2018.

Lood de Jager

The rangy lock has regressed since winning the 2015 SA Rugby Player of the Year award. At his best, De Jager is a wonderfully versatile lock who can play the enforcer role up-front, as well as be a top lineout operator in the No 5 jersey. He also needs to get his work-rate up to the level that made him indispensable in 2015.

Elton Jantjies

Jantjies followed up another top Super Rugby campaign with solid outings against France and Argentina. However, he started to fall away in the latter part of the year, producing unconvincing performances littered with unforced errors. Jantjies is a top player, but over the last two years he hasn't made the most of his chances in the Bok jersey.

Tendai Mtawarira

The veteran loose head has been one of the most consistent performers in a Bok jersey over the last couple of years, and a model of professionalism. However, the youngsters are starting to come through and he needs to find another gear after a rather sedate 2017 if he wants to keep his place in the Bok team.

Andries Coetzee

Coetzee started all the Boks' Tests in 2017. The Lions fullback set off strong in his first couple of outings, running aimless kicks back with purpose and being decisive in attack and under the high ball. However, he didn't look comfortable against the top teams such as the All Blacks and Ireland, especially under the high ball. He was also hesitant on attack during the November tour.

Raymond Rhule

Rhule is a smart player with a great rugby brain. If you add his pace and ball skills to the mix, then you should have a top rugby player. However, his feeble defence has been exposed at the highest level, and has overshadowed his abilities with ball in hand. An international winger needs to be able to tackle or at least hold on to a player and wait for the cavalry to arrive.