Who will play at No10 for the Springboks? The quick answer is Ruan Piennar, the Sharksâ00 outside-half who was given the jersey in November last year by Springbok coach Peter de Villiers.
With World Cup winning stand-off Butch James signed up for three years at Bath, de Villiers wanted to make a fresh start and seek out the best candidate to take the Boks through to their defence of the Webb Ellis Trophy in 2011.
The 24-year-old former scrum-half was the new coachâ00s choice and he was introduced with a fair fanfare by his coach.
â00He is good enough already and can become one of the worldâ00s greats at fly-half. He is one of the best rugby players in our country, if not the best at the moment,â0 de Villiers said after announcing his team to face Wales last autumn.
â00I am really excited just watching the kid and seeing how he goes about doing the stuff.â0
To be fair, Pienaar got his new career off to a flying start as he guided the South Africans to three successive victories in the UK, culminating in a record victory over England at Twickenham in which he scored 20 points.
In fact, the experiment of playing him at No10 worked a treat as he scored a total of 40 points in the three wins over Wales, Scotland and England.
But while de Villiers and the convenor of the Springbok selectors, Peter Jooste, are convinced the 25-year-old is the man to take on the Lions, there are many who fear his goalkicking might not be good enough and that de Villiers might be falling into the same trap as befell one of his predecessors in 1997, Carel du Plessis.
He went into the first two Tests of that 1997 series against McGeechanâ00s Lions without a recognised goalkicker. By the time he introduced Percy Montgomery for the third Test, the series had gone to McGeechan and Martin Johnson.
Springbok fans are petrified of a similar outcome and Pienaarâ00s poor kicking for the Sharks in the opening rounds of the Super 14 has made them even more nervous. It go so bad in the matches against the Stormers and Lions that his half-back partner Rory Kockott had to take over.
And that led to Kockott being given the job of first-choice kicker when the Sharks went on their tour to New Zealand and Australia. To add to Pienaarâ00s woes, he picked up a knee ligament injury that will keep him on the sidelines for plenty of next month.
Ruan Pienaar is rated very highly by the Springbok management
But none of this seems to have unnerved de Villiers, who last week claimed Pienaar was still his top choice.
â00I am not worried. We will score tries and see to it that they (the Lions) donâ00t,â0 De Villiers told Stephen Nell of Die Burger.
â00Iâ00m not looking for a fly-half that can kick. Iâ00m looking for a fly-half that can also kick. You get fly-halves that are playmakers and others that are decision-makers - Ruan is both.
â00Ruan, Jean de Villiers and Adrian Jacobs are the kind of players that will maybe make three mistakes, but cross the advantage line seven times. I accepted Ruan may miss one or two kicks, but he did the job for us â00 he is one of the best.
â00He strikes the ball sweetly. I did not have another kicker at the end of last year because I did not need another one.â0
Whatever the coaches and selectors feel, the statistics prove that the Springbok No10 jersey has been a very uncomfortable shirt on the back of many players. Since Henry Honiball stepped down from international rugby after the third place play-off victory over New Zealand at the 1999 Rugby World Cup, the Springboks have chopped and changed their pivotal player almost every year.
You have to go back to 2004 for the last time they went through a season with the same player occupying thefly-half spot â00 Jaco van der Westhuyzen in all 13 Tests. He made 17 successive appearances, the most since Honiballâ00s departure a decade ago.
Pienaar has got three good performances under his belt away from home. Now he has to stand up to all the pressure of delivering on home soil in the biggest Test series South Africa has known since 1997.
The prospect of James playing against the Springbok squad for a Namibian Invitational XV is being viewed by many as a potential back door opening for the Bath star to creep back into the reckoning. Otherwise, de Villiers is likely to have to look to the current crop of Super 14 players as his No10 options.
Bath's in-form Butch James could still face the Lions this summer
Pienaarâ00s Sharks team-mate Francois Steyn is capable of stepping into the breach for both province and country, while Morne Steyn has been highly consistent for the table topping Bulls â00 and been playing in tandem with de Villiersâ00 top-choice scrum-half Fourie du Preez.
The Stormers have the highly physical Peter Grant in their ranks, although he hasnâ00t been first-choice of late with Willem de Waal starting in the last two games. The Lions' AndrÃ© Pretorius has made his comeback to big-time rugby after an injury-ravaged 2008 season, but hasnâ00t made the impact his coach Eugene Eloff had been hoping for. Earl Rose has been given his chance by Eloff, but not really grasped it with both hands.
So it is anybodyâ00s guess who will wear the shirt if Pienaarâ00s knee doesnâ00t improve, or his goalkicking isnâ00t up to scratch.
The Springboksâ00 at No 10 since 2000
(number of tests played in a row in brackets)
2000: Braam van Straaten (3), Louis Koen (1), Van Straaten (4), Percy Montgomery (3), Van Straaten (1)
2001: Butch James (2), Montgomery (1), James (4), Van Straaten (1), Koen (3)
2002: AndrÃ© Pretorius (7), Brent Russell (1), Pretorius (1), James (1), Pretorius (1)
2003: Koen (9), Derick Hougaard (3)
2004: Jaco van der Westhuyzen (13)
2005: Van der Westhuyzen (4), Pretorius (6), Meyer Bosman (2)
2006: Van der Westhuyzen (4), James (3), Pretorius (3), James (1), Pretorius (1)
2007: James (2), Hougaard (1), James (2), Hougaard (2), James (4), Pretorius (1), James (4), Pretorius (1)
2008: James (2), Frans Steyn (1), James (7), Ruan Pienaar (3)
(Table compiled by Stephen Nell)