De Villiers back to lead Boks

August 2, 2014
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The Springboks will once again be led by Jean De Villiers as he comes back from injury for the Rugby Championship.

 

Jean de Villiers

Jean de Villiers

Jean is one of six players that comes back from injury. The players who did not take part in the June internationals that got back into the group are Jean De Villiers(Captain), Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Patrick Lambie, and Damian de Allende.

Meyer did include De Allende in the June internationals squad but he was forced to withdraw due to an injury he picked up in the Super Rugby match just before the June break against the Sharks.

The other uncapped player in the group is Sharks scrum half Cobus Reinach who gets rewarded for a brilliant season with the Cell C Sharks.

Meyer have decided that players like Cornal Hendricks, Teboho “Oupa” Mahoje, Lood de Jager and Handre Pollard did enough in the June test window to deserve a recall for the Rugby Championships.

Heyneke Meyer was clearly happy to have his captain back in the frame,“It’s great to have Jean back to lead the side in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship,” he said.

“Victor Matfield and Jan Serfontein both did superbly well in his absence, but he is our captain and I’m sure he will slot back into the side without any difficulty. The same goes for Eben, Frans and Patrick, all of whom have been part of the squad before.

“We will medically assess all the players in the squad in Johannesburg next week. This will not only include the players who missed the June Tests because of injury, but also someone such as Mtawarira, who has been out of action for a while. We will deal with every player and his needs individually.”

Commenting on the inclusion of Hendricks, a recent gold medal winner in sevens at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland, Mohoje, De Jager and Pollard, Meyer said: “These players have impressed from the first minute they joined us. This is a step up for all of them, but that is the kind of challenge we thrive on.

“It’s never easy cutting a squad down in size and we’re fortunate that we have a number of experienced players who will be on stand-by should their services be needed.”

Meyer said he is looking forward to the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, which kicks off on Saturday, 16 August when Australia host New Zealand in Sydney and the Springboks take on Argentina at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria (kick-off at 17h00).

The Springbok squad will gather in Johannesburg for a pre-competition camp from 4 to 8 August and then again on 10 August in Pretoria, where they will prepare for the Test against Argentina.

“We’ve been steadily improving over the past two years but another step-up is needed this season,” said Meyer.

“It’s been a theme for us since the start of the season and we must simply keep on accelerating in the coming two months. We’ve set ourselves some goals for the Castle Lager Rugby Championship and we’ll have to be focused and switched on from the moment we get together in Johannesburg.

“Winning matches and scoring tries remain foremost in our minds. During the four matches in June, we scored 23 tries, which we were very happy with. I think we can be proud of the rugby we played against Wales and Scotland, but that is in the past now and we have a new competition to get ready for.

“There are many good things we can build on from the June series, but also some things we need to work on if we’re going to be competitive in the coming months. It’s a challenge we relish though and I can’t wait to get going.”

Two senior Springboks who will play in Japan in the coming months, JP Pietersen and Schalk Burger, were not considered for the start of the competition. They have to report to their respective clubs next week.

“Obviously the squad can change during the course of the Rugby Championship and although JP and Schalk were not considered at this stage, they could still feature later in the competition,” said Meyer.

Injured players who were not available for selection after featuring in 2013 or earlier in 2014, are Flip van der Merwe (knee), Pieter-Steph du Toit (knee), Arno Botha (knee), Pierre Spies (bicep), Fourie du Preez (ankle) and Jaque Fourie (ankle).

The Springbok squad for the Castle Lager Rugby Championship 2014:

Name Province Position Test Caps
Willem Alberts Cell C Sharks Loose forward 32
Bakkies Botha Toulon, France Lock 79
Schalk Brits Saracens, England Hooker 7
Marcell Coetzee Cell C Sharks Loose forward 16
Damian De Allende DHL Western Province Centre / Wing 0
Lodewyk de Jager Toyota FS Cheetahs Lock 3
Jean de Villiers (captain) DHL Western Province Centre 96
Bismarck du Plessis Cell C Sharks Hooker 60
Jannie du Plessis Cell C Sharks Prop 54
Eben Etzebeth DHL Western Province Lock 23
Bryan Habana Toulon, France Wing 97
Cornal Hendricks Toyota FS Cheetahs Wing 3
Francois Hougaard Vodacom Blue Bulls Scrumhalf 28
Patrick Lambie Cell C Sharks Flyhalf / Fullback 32
Willie le Roux Toyota FS Cheetahs Fullback / Wing 15
Francois Louw Bath, England Loose forward 30
Frans Malherbe DHL Western Province Prop 2
Victor Matfield Vodacom Blue Bulls Lock 113
Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje Toyota FS Cheetahs Loose forward 1
Tendai Mtawarira Cell C Sharks Prop 55
Lwazi Mvovo Cell C Sharks Wing 9
Trevor Nyakane Toyota FS Cheetahs Prop 4
Ruan Pienaar Ulster, N Ireland Scrumhalf 76
Handré Pollard Vodacom Blue Bulls Flyhalf 1
Cobus Reinach Cell C Sharks Scrumhalf 0
Jan Serfontein Vodacom Blue Bulls Centre 12
Gurthrö Steenkamp Toulouse, France Prop 51
Morné Steyn Stade Francais, France Flyhalf 56
Adriaan Strauss Toyota FS Cheetahs Hooker 34
Duane Vermeulen DHL Western Province No 8 19

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22 Comments

  1. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    August 2nd, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Must say I like allot what I see….Young chaps with some old hands….

    It is easy to pick a group different story to pick that winning team

  2. avatar Boertjie says:
    August 2nd, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    No scrumhalf of international quality
    :roll:

  3. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    August 2nd, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    @Boertjie: We do not have any Oom…but i am sure Pienaar will disagree with you :soek:

  4. avatar Americano says:
    August 2nd, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    I don’t know spit about De Allende but hopefully he will be useful because many on RW rate him highly.
    Hopefully the pre tournament training and the slaughter of Argentina in the first two games will allow him to get his sea legs. Plus it will allow him to marinate in the offensive ethos of the Bok backline which is meted out by the genius that is Messerschmitt-Willie LeRoux.

    I like this selection. Would I like it more if the “Real Honey-Badger” Heinrich Brussouw was in tow? Uhhh yeah but I gotta trust in ZeeMeyer due to his selection of “You Know Who”, Corny Hendrick & SHALK BRITS !!!!!
    The above 3 ( plus thank you very much for DeJagr which Meyer totally got from Boertje) tells me one thing about HM’s take on the upcoming RC….
    Go for the throat. Period.
    If the pack shows up & #9 doesn’t totally lose the plot, this team is gonna run all comers up & down.
    Schalk Brits is there to rub it in. Adrian Strauss is as vestigal as an appendix is to the Bok team so hopefully after this go HM will have him removed – SA won’t miss a beat.

  5. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    August 3rd, 2014 at 3:32 am

    Good squad… pretty much the best in RSA bar a few positions…

    Yet to be convinced that Malherbe is a TH and not a LH… WTF is Nyakane doing there… he’s not even a starter for his province… same as Oupa!

    The best South African 7 in the land is currently JAques Potgieter and he is capped… the guy was the standout of the entire Super season…

    9 the other big glaring problem… why did they play FDP in the weakened pre-season tests…

  6. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    August 3rd, 2014 at 11:00 am

    @bryce_in_oz: Only three centers in the team?

  7. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    August 4th, 2014 at 9:04 am

    @Jacques(Bunny):

    Yep and no JPP… strange… and De Allende who is average…

    Reckon the Boks will end third this year…

  8. avatar Bekke says:
    August 4th, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    De Allende average? Go and ask any S15 centre he played against this year and they will laugh at your joke!

  9. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    August 4th, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    @Bekke:

    I only need to look at the log standings…

    He’s a retreaded wing having played there the most over the last two terrible seasons for Stormers… and now all of a sudden he’s a test class 12?

    Gimme a break…

    Boks are in deep trouble going into TRC with no proven centre pairing… whilst the Aussies and Kiwi’s have four each… couple that with only one half decent 9 and no JPP… not looking good…

    It will be down to Hak Hak if they manage to keep above water…

  10. avatar Americano says:
    August 4th, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Bryce,
    Could you please divelge the identity of this “Hak hak” reference?
    At first glance I’d think its just some weird hybrid animal that roams about that continent with koala bears & duck billed platapuses.
    But given the context of its appearance, I think it may be a reference to a Springbok player that myself and everyone on RW is VERY familiar with & quite fond of….
    Do tell.

  11. avatar Christo (Vetgesmeerde Blits) says:
    August 4th, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    @bryce_in_oz:
    You should start watching some rugby, looking at the log is not enough.No wonder you are punting JJ Engelbreght(whom you have no problem with as a retreated wing) as the next best thing. If the log was the tool we used to select teams, Marius Delport would have been a Bok and Players like Willie le Roux and Lood de Jager would have to be replaced by Jurgen Visser and Anton Bresler. Players that perform well in struggling teams like Willie, Lood, Damien and Warren Whitely usually play exceptional rugby when given the change in a strong Bok team.

    And Damien is 22 years old, he is not a retreated anything, he is still finding his best position wich look like centre. It is like saying Frans Steyn was a retreated flyhalf when he won the World Cup at 20.

    Damien has a very good pass to both sides, is big strong and fast, ofloads well in the tackle, is a great defender and has a good kicking game. For this reasons I rate him as a good centre.

    You don’t have to like him, just try and put a half decent argument together why you don’t rate him. Or do you struggle when your signature ork argument is not applicable.

  12. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    August 5th, 2014 at 3:15 am

    @Christo (Vetgesmeerde Blits):

    Now now mate… don’t get your knickers in a knot… the ‘log’ quip was a jibe at Bekke… who let’s face it rarely argues with more than ‘Hak-hak is kak’ despite Hak Hak having a 75% win record and showing him up at almost every turn…

    To be fair I probably watched more Super Rugby this season than most on this site…

    As for JJ… firstly lets get this out of the way…

    He had a poor season this S15 year… as did pretty much the entire Bulls side particularly their backline starting from the 9/10/12 axis and the pack before them…

    However bar a few defensive lapses had a excellent first test season… his turn of pace, inside/outside stepping and playmaker-passes/try-assists collectively had opponent looking rather foolish in a year that was a try-fest for the Boks despite losing only two to the World Champs…

    Now on to the point of ‘retreading wingers’… mate… big difference shifting a wing to 13 and a wing to 12…

    Most the legend 13′s were/are retreaded wingers… Fourie, Conrad Smith, Tana Umanga…

    If you had said that De Allande was going to be introduced as a 13 I’d have said “well there are not many other options”…

    Not the case… many punters (WP) have been waxing far too lyrical on him stepping straight in at 12… when our 9′s are out of form, main 10 is out of form and there is no tested centre pairing. The captain has to start at 12.

    I see the potential of the guy… but still see him as a winger capable of playing test rugby… not 12.

    Despite his Super form… JJ should have got a run at 13 during the ‘weak tests’ this season not JPP (who is not even playing in TRC) and every other centre including De Allande out injured… at the very least his form was excellent in the test season… and more to the point him and Serfontein are a 12/13 combo as was JDV/JJ…

    My biggest issue with HM’s June test season was exactly that… not trying to sort some center combo’s out with specialists… whilst the Aussies and Kiwi’s did just that…

    @Americano:

    Mate that is Bekke’s derogatory name for HM… despite being shown up each test week…

  13. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    August 5th, 2014 at 6:39 am

    Just in case you had forgot his test season… note all the tries scored with JDV combining…

  14. avatar Christo (Vetgesmeerde Blits) says:
    August 5th, 2014 at 7:49 am

    @bryce_in_oz:
    It might be more common to move from wing to 13, but it also depends on the players strengths. De Allende is more suited to 12 imo. He has never been a specialist wing and played a lot of Wp junior rugby at 13 and fullback.

    A very interesting article both his Wp junior and senior coaches Allan Zondag and Robbie Fleck believes 12 is his best position because of his specific strengths especially his passing and ability to get over the advantage line.It is also his prefered position.
    http://m.sarugbymag.co.za/mobilecomponents/basicpostview.php?lastpage=0&slug=midfielder-marauder

    There is no doubt JJ has potential, with his pace his biggest asset. Unfortunately at 13 your defence needs to be great, before he sorts that out he will not be the first choice 13.I would rather play Serfontein at 13 as he has really worked on his defence.JJ also look to shy away from contact, and at 13 there is no where to hide.

  15. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    August 5th, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    @Christo (Vetgesmeerde Blits):

    Good to hear… yet I’ve seen none of that at Super level… I also find it quite difficult to take anything Fleck or WP backline coach has to say seriously…

    But Mallet said he would at some stage be a Bok… he didn’t say 12… but he was impressed…

    Here’s hoping… I reckon he’ll be tried at 13 against the Argies…

    I also reckon Frans might ‘magically’ sort out his contractual disputes and JDJ will be back at some stage if injuries…

    More mucking around with combo’s but here’s hoping it doesn’t come to that…

  16. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    August 5th, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Victor Matfield now out of the first test… ouch!

  17. avatar Americano says:
    August 5th, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Robbie Fleck + Messerschmitt-Willie both on same field in their prime = GLORY.

    Woulda loved to have seen it. I am a big Robbie Fleck fan.
    As far as coaching – I dunno but due to my being a fan of his as a player – no way I’m gonna be as coldly dismissive of his coaching chops as Bryce was above.
    Why?
    Because he’s Robbie Fleck…Man. C’mon.

  18. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    August 6th, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    I was under the Impression that the overseas bokke won’t be available? All the frenchies?? next week the Top14 starts so why are they allowed to Play for the Boks?

  19. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    August 6th, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    @JT_BOKBEFOK!: As i have it the Japanees players have in their contracts that they will not play in the 4N, but it was explained last year that SARU can force them if they want to as it is an official IRB tournament.

    The cost is very high I believe as SARU has to cover injuries and insurance on the players.

    But we should get it rather from the horses mounth in CT :)

  20. avatar Boertjie says:
    August 6th, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    @bryce_in_oz:

    Die Ellende could just surprise you, Boet.

  21. avatar Boertjie says:
    August 6th, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    IRR ruling: all European Boks available.
    The clubs may recall them in the two week
    RC window.

  22. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    August 6th, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    @Boertjie: Ye forgot that one

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