Springbok Squad for Incoming Tour

May 31, 2014
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Springboks

Seven uncapped players, Damian de Allende, Lood de Jager, Cornal Hendricks, Teboho Mohoje, S’bura Sithole, Marcel van der Merwe and Callie Visagie, have been called up to Springbok duty as part of a 36-man squad for the Castle Lager Incoming Series next month.

The squad also includes experienced World Cup winners Schalk Burger and Victor Matfield, while there is a return to the Springboks for Schalk Brits, Juan de Jongh, Francois Hougaard, Lwazi Mvovo and Frans Steyn, all of whom last played Test rugby in 2012. The national selectors have also kept a great deal of continuity. In total, 12 players who started the final Test of 2013, where the Springboks beat France in Paris for the first time in 16 years, have been retained in the squad.

However, notable omissions include Springbok captain and SARU’s Player of the Year in 2013, Jean de Villiers, who is out with a knee injury, and the Young Player of the Year for the last two seasons and IRB Player of the Year nominee last year, Eben Etzebeth, who has been given more time to fully recover from the foot injury which has kept him sidelined this entire season. The Springboks will also be without one of their vice-captains, Adriaan Strauss, who has been suspended for three matches as well as the experienced Jaque Fourie, who started all three Tests last November but has been ruled out with an ankle injury and Pat Lambie, a regular member of the squad for the last two years.

“It’s never easy starting the international season without a number of key players, but it’s the same for our opponents as well and there are no excuses – we simply have to hit the ground running this week and make sure we start the season as well as possible,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, who will name the interim captain next week. “Injuries also provide opportunities for new players and from what I’ve seen at the training camp in Durban earlier this week, they are also raring to go.

“Oupa Mohoje got an opportunity at the Cheetahs following injuries to Lappies Labuschagne, Philip van der Walt and Jean Cook, and he took his chance. At the Sharks, Stephan Lewies came in for the injured Pieter-Steph du Toit and he came very close to inclusion in this squad. “It was also wonderful to see the excitement in the more experienced players, who have tasted what Test rugby is about. Everyone knows we’re at the start of a challenging season but everyone is raring to get going.”

Meyer said that all of the uncapped players deserved their opportunity.

“Damian, Cornal, Oupa, S’bura, Marcel and Callie have all been in great form recently for their various Vodacom Super Rugby franchises, while Lood was very impressive before his injury and he underlined that with a great attitude and work ethic at the Durban camp,” said Meyer. “Some of them have been on the national selectors’ radar for a bit longer, while others have been very impressive at our training camp in Durban. They all deserve their selection and now it’s up to them to make the most of it.

“Damian and S’bura both bring utility value to the team, as they can play in more than one position in the backline. “Cornal, who was the SA Sevens Player of the Year in 2013, is very fast and has a couple of very special attributes, so we’re very excited to work with him and hopefully improve him as a player. “Upfront, we’ve been very impressed with Lood and Oupa recently. Lood is a no-nonsense lock who will learn a lot from Victor and Bakkies, while Oupa is a superb line-out option, very fast and good with the ball in hand.

“Marcel and Callie have been part of a resurgent Bulls pack recently and their play in the set-pieces is very good. Marcel can play on both sides of the scrum, which makes him a valuable option in the squad, while he also carries the ball well and has shown he can steal ball at the breakdown. Callie brings superb line-out throwing and great scrumming power, while he is never shy to do the dirty work on the field.”

Meyer added that he is looking forward to welcoming Matfield and Burger back into the Bok fold. “Last year we saw what it meant to Bakkies, Fourie and Jaque when they returned and they showed that age should not be any measure when it comes to Test rugby – if you have the goods and can perform at world-class level, you deserve to be selected,” said Meyer.

“Victor and Schalk have both been out of the game for some time and for different reasons. A year ago, Schalk’s playing future was in doubt, so it’s great to have him back in the Bok fold and I’m looking forward to working with him for the first time. Their excitement at the Durban camp was palpable, but also contagious. The younger players fed off that and I know they will add a lot of value to the squad.”

On the inclusion of Brits he said: “Schalk was part of our plans from the beginning. He is one of the best hookers in the world, is one of the nominees for Heineken Cup Player of the Year and brings heaps of experience with him.” Strauss, who has been suspended for three weeks for an illegal tackle last weekend, will rejoin in the squad for the final week of the Castle Lager Incoming Series, when his suspension has ended. Injured players who were not available for selection after featuring in 2013, are De Villiers, Etzebeth, Lambie (bicep), Fourie (ankle), Frans Malherbe (concussion), Scarra Ntubeni (foot), Chiliboy Ralepelle (knee), Frik Kirsten (neck), Pieter-Steph du Toit (knee), Franco van der Merwe (ankle), Arno Botha (knee), Pierre Spies (bicep), Louis Schreuder (hand) and Gio Aplon (elbow).

Juan Smith was also in the selection frame, but as he has been struggling with an injury in recent weeks, he requested the national selectors not to be considered.

The Springbok squad for the Castle Lager Incoming Series 2014:

Willem Alberts (Cell C Sharks), Loose forward – 30 Test caps

Bakkies Botha (Toulon, France), Lock – 78

Schalk Brits (Saracens, England), Hooker – 5

Schalk Burger (DHL Western Province), Loose forward – 68

Marcell Coetzee (Cell C Sharks), Loose forward – 15

Damian De Allende (DHL Western Province), Centre / Wing – 0

Lodewyk de Jager (Toyota FS Cheetahs), Lock – 0

Juan de Jongh (DHL Western Province), Centre – 14

Bismarck du Plessis (Cell C Sharks), Hooker – 57

Jannie du Plessis (Cell C Sharks), Prop – 51

Fourie du Preez (Suntory, Japan), Scrumhalf – 67

JJ Engelbrecht (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Centre / Wing – 12

Johan Goosen (Toyota FS Cheetahs), Flyhalf – 4

Bryan Habana (Toulon, France), Wing – 95

Cornal Hendricks (Toyota FS Cheetahs), Wing – 0

Francois Hougaard (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Scrumhalf – 27

Zane Kirchner (Leinster, Ireland), Fullback – 28

Siya Kolisi (DHL Western Province), Loose forward – 10

Willie le Roux (Toyota FS Cheetahs), Fullback / Wing – 12

Francois Louw (Bath, England), Loose forward – 28

Victor Matfield (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Lock – 110

Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje (Toyota FS Cheetahs), Loose forward – 0

Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks), Prop – 53

Lwazi Mvovo (Cell C Sharks), Wing – 7

Coenie Oosthuizen (Toyota FS Cheetahs), Prop – 14

Ruan Pienaar (Ulster, N Ireland), Scrumhalf – 74

JP Pietersen (Cell C Sharks), Wing – 51

Jan Serfontein (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Centre – 9

S’bura Sithole (Cell C Sharks), Wing / Centre – 0 Gurthrö Steenkamp (Toulouse, France), Prop – 49

Frans Steyn (Cell C Sharks), Utility back – 53

Morné Steyn (Stade Francais, France), Flyhalf – 54

Flip van der Merwe (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Lock – 34

Marcel van der Merwe (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Prop – 0

Duane Vermeulen (DHL Western Province), No 8 – 16

Callie Visagie (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Hooker – 0

 

Source: Rugby365

 

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19 Comments

  1. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    May 31st, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Cannot se why Callie is there

  2. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    May 31st, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    callie, goosen, coetzee and JJ. Tokens.

    Just not a well balanced squad and not a single player undisputed best in position in the world.

    This team can very easily end 3rd in TRC, especially if our super rugby form is anything to go by.

  3. avatar Bekke says:
    May 31st, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Why, he played in the incredible bulls team that demolished the Lions! NOT!!!

  4. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    May 31st, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    but HM had lot of factors to mitigate against. lets give him his favorites. I wont be looking to boks for entertainment value either. This is a team that can slog it.

  5. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    May 31st, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    @Bekke:

    oh my word.

  6. avatar Boertjie says:
    May 31st, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    HM really going overboard in preparing
    for a few piss and paraffin teams coming
    our way.

  7. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    May 31st, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    @Boertjie:

    he really wants to not lose. we leave that for the kiwi games

  8. avatar DavidS says:
    June 1st, 2014 at 12:43 am

    @Cheetah Glory:

    ….

    Nobody watches rugby for entertainment value… they watch to see who wins…

    Even new fans who are watching for the first time… entertainment vallue does not come from all the running and lots of scores…

    If that were so soccer would not be as popular as it is with its low scoring…

    And if you are referring to Americans… MLB and NBA and NFL is filled with plenty of stoppages… and even fast paced games like NHL just have a few scores in a game.

    Watch rugby because of an intrinsic type of sport it is not because you want it to comply with what your idea of entertainment should be.

  9. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    June 1st, 2014 at 2:15 am

    @Cheetah Glory:

    You don’t half talk shit… go to bed…

    Tokens… JJ bar a few defensive slips last year scored some scintillating tries and assisted WLR and Habana in plenty! They won 8 from 10 with him there!

    Goosen a ‘token’ and a ‘favourite’? Again for three seasons YOU creamed your pants over the youngster calling for Bok inclusion. In a country with a 10 problem and injury doubts over the two incumbents… it’s no wonder he is there in the system.

    And Heyneke ‘playing it safe’ again with his ‘favourites’???

    What shite… Sithole, Oupa Mohoje, Hendricks, De Jager, De Allende and the return of another one of your decade long wet-dreams Schalk Brits (yet you harp on about Visagie when there are so many injuries)…

    Nah mate… Morrocan brown must be prevalent in Ireland this summer…

  10. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    June 1st, 2014 at 2:18 am

    @DavidS:

    Football is the ultimate example of your point… the most popular spectator sport in the world for eons where most across the world will fight in the terraces over a 0-0 90 minute draw.

  11. avatar Timeo says:
    June 1st, 2014 at 3:53 am

    I must say it’s pretty depressing……

    If that’s the best 30 odd players SA can currently put forward.

    Saw this on Football?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/01/sports/soccer/fixed-matches-cast-shadow-over-world-cup.html?smid%3D=tw-nytsports&_r=0&module=ArrowsNav&contentCollection=Soccer&action=keypress&region=FixedLeft&pgtype=article

  12. avatar Aldo says:
    June 1st, 2014 at 6:53 am

    @bryce_in_oz:

    that whole comment pretty much sums it all up Bryce.

  13. avatar Aldo says:
    June 1st, 2014 at 7:01 am

    Except for the facr that Callie is in the Bok squad and we still havent got anything better than Hougaard and Pienaar to back fourie up at 9, nothing much wrong with this squad, given the amount of injuries we have.

    Wait for it, wait for it…. Oh Bekke didnt hak hak, my broek is vol kak.

  14. avatar Americano says:
    June 1st, 2014 at 7:05 am

    DeJager, Hendricks, SCHALK BRITS!

    I woulda liked HBBroussouw & Kockett but I have to defer to the RugbyGenius…..HM.

    I’m ecstatic for the 3 above mentioned.
    Brits & The Messerschmitt together are an offensive rival bourbon & coke as the ultimate concotion of sweetness & kick

  15. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    June 1st, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I actually meant it as a compliment that this is a team who can slog it.

    Bryce JJ is kak average. Period. You dont become a bok because you are just so so. He is so so and wont make most top club teams, so why must he be a sure-fire bok?

    I can bend on many things but I wont on him. Neither will I on Callie being this line-out throwing meastro when he is also an average scrummager and has no open game to speak off. Fourie just has more of everything for me.

    But HM is the coach and he has selected a fine squad who can slog it. This team wont beat the kiwis, but we can slog and get close or not lose by much. Its my honest opinion.

    Now you guys can get a delirious again because someone has a different point of view.

  16. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    June 1st, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    @DavidS:

    Dawie just hear me out for a second.

    winning teams will always be the big pull – but individual players in teams who play extravagantly appeals especially to youngsters who watch tries on Youtube on a Monday.

    The last time I was in Ireland nobody knew who the Cheetahs were. Today a fair amount of people here know the Cheetahs and can recall seeing stuff about them – highlights reels etc.

    I dont want to change you opinion. I just ask you to consider the fact that rugby is a mere form of entertainment and the money comes to those who a) win and b) entertain. The ones who do both really get into peoples minds (and wallets).

    Outside of SA (and maybe some purists in NZ) the Boks dont inspire anyone and its because we would rather win by 3 than ever risk losing.

    This reduces the pull of our brand.

    I really want SA to be seen as something special and the Boks are our only thing (and our natural beauty) worth celebrating.

    Thats why it frustrates me that our rugby lacks the ambition to win AND entertain. If we can be more, why insist on being less?

  17. avatar Boertjie says:
    June 1st, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    NZ Herald:

    Sharks halfback Cobus Reinach scored the only try of a match in which kicking for territory featured much more prominently than creative running, as neither side showed a great deal of ambition.

    PS. We’ll still take the win.

  18. avatar Timeo says:
    June 2nd, 2014 at 2:20 am

    @Cheetah Glory:

    The wider popularity of the Cheetahs have as much to do with the fact that they managed to win a few more games last year. Look at the Lions, they’ve been aiming to entertain for many years. Without winning some, they’ve gained none (in the quest for fans).

    We all want the same thing.
    That is, for the Boks to win and be entertaining.
    We differ in how to get there.

    HM turned the Bulls into a winning brand with a very conservative approach first. Once securely there, they turned into entertainers.

    Yours is a case of cart before the horses.

  19. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    June 2nd, 2014 at 6:36 am

    @Cheetah Glory:

    No he is not kuk ‘period’… other than two miss-tackles and some defensive alignment issues last year he had a BRILLIANT season… carving up the Aussie, NZ and Arg defences on NUMEROUS occasions with his pace, excellent stepping off both feet scoring some excellent tries but even more so setting up plenty of tries for Kirchner, Habana and WLR… 10 from 12 win rate he’s had…

    So kuk only in your mind mate… after JF he’s the best 13 in RSA by a long shot…

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