Home November Internationals Surprises? not really if you understand Erasmus

Surprises? not really if you understand Erasmus

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 01: Rassie Erasmus is announced as the new Springbok coach during the Announcement of New Springbok Management at SuperSport Studios on March 01, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

Trying to make sense in any coach selection is difficult and so much more when it comes to the Springboks.

There was a few surprises in Rassie Erasmus selections when he announced the squad to tour the UK this November and off-course like always a few disappointments.

Erasmus selected uncapped trio of Sergeal Petersen (wing), Ruhan Nel (centre) and JD Schickerling (lock) after Saturdays final between Province and the Sharks.

Petersen did play in a tour match for the Springboks against the Barbarians but that did not earn him a cap.

He also called back Gio Aplon (outside back) and Louis Schreuder (scrumhalf) into the squad.

We also see Trevor Nyakane (prop) and Lood de Jager (lock) back in the squad after long layoffs due to injury. Neither had played any test for the Springboks this year under Erasmus.

We knew that Erasmus would try some more players in the end of year tour as he try and get his best 30, 32 players ready for the World Cup next year.

Players like Lionel Mapoe, Tendai Mtawarira, Ross Cronje, Lukhanyo Am and Makazole Mapimpi were all not considered due to injury.

There are a few questions on Erasmus selections and starting with the forwards the questions was asked the selection of Schalk Birts and the exclusion of Akker van Der Merwe.

Brits have not really played any competitive rugby since retiring at the end of the English season. He is a quality player but there are some unhappiness that a guy like Akker was excluded for the Brits.

Brits do bring a world of experience to the group in playing up north in their conditions and he is a quality player.

With Marx and Bongi as the two front runners one can understand that Erasmus wanted someone he knew will adopt to conditions quickly if any injuries come.

Erasmus also are taking 5 locks on tour with JD Schickerling the first time as part of the group. With De Jager just returning to the field it seems a good idea to have the youngster part of the group.

Although we have the likes of Etzebeth, De Jager, Mostert and Snyman as the possible front runners, it will not hurt to bring the young man to experience the culture.

With Vermeulen back in the squad there are a feeling that Francois Louw was not needed, but the big man have also a world of experience to give to the squad.

With the backs Gio Aplon who has been playing brilliant rugby in France and Japan is another that brings experience to the team.

Aplon can fit in at the wing and fullback which is specialised positions which you need quality in the conditions up north.

With Faf de Klerk seemingly not available the selection of Louis Schreuder makes the only real sense at nine. He deserve a chance at this level and hopefully he will get one.

Sergeal Peteresen had a great Currie Cup for Province but his selection may be the one selection that can only be as cover. One can not see him pushing Dyantyi or even Nkosi out of the starting team.

Must say there are plenty of happiness to see Ruhan Nel getting another change to show his quality.

Next week it is England and this may be Rassie team he select for the first test.

15. Willie le Roux, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13. Jesse Kriel, 12. Damien De Allende, 11. Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9. Embrose Papier, 8 Daune Vermeulen, 7 Pieter Steph du Toit, 6.Siya Kolisi, 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Trevor Nyakane, 2.Malcolm Marx, 1. Steven Kitshoff


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  1. Yip makes a lot of sense.

    But I think the squad would be hugely boosted by:
    JLDP, Serfontein, Goosen, Brussow and JPP

    the lack of Beast is a big worry and England chances to win are far higher with njakane selected to start at twickenham . This is not a good move at all. It is one test where you want your very best scrummaging TH. If they get scrum ascendancy with the pisscat crowd behind, it’s the beginning of the end, we’ve seen it many times before.

  2. @cab: I may be wrong but Serfontein did him no favours last year telling he did not want to go on EOY tour to settle in France.

    I am with on Jean-Luc Du Preez, Will have have him 10 times over FLO.

  3. Oh right Jacques – I was hoping it was cos he injured. But if he don’t want to play for Boks, no problem. Pity – could’ve been a great.

  4. @cab: I think Rassie is settling on De Allende, Kriel, Am and Esterhuizen, the rest I think is backup and for in case.

    In some way I agree give the players in the country good enough the first pick and if you d not find go elsewhere. Serfontein was a monster last year and he brings so much to the game. Would love to see him in the mix.

  5. I, personally, would love to see Frans Steyn, Bismarck du Plessis and Jan Serfontein in that squad for plain experience and BMT.

    We all saw the value Monty and Os du Randt brought in the world Cup 2007.

    If Schalk Brits could be there for experience, how much more so should Bismarck not be there for so much more experience, and he is younger. Frans Steyn can cover for 10,12, 13 and 15, Serfontein was a Ray of sunshine in the darkest Coetzee nights.

    Come on SA Rugby, get your act together now!!

  6. I think Rassie is settled on hookers with Marx, Bongi, Akkers and Schalk, no need for another hooker in the mix and he has Schalk playing in SA now so I think that maybe reason not to get Bismarck involved.

    The stories although nothing confirm that Bismarck and Frans did not want to play in June is not sitting well.

    I am one if player does not want to play for Boks then let them be in Europe.

    I need to find out more on Serfontein, but it may be that he was out for so long. Maybe that the reason why Rassie did not pick him above any of the local players who has done the duty since June test.

    We have cover at 10,11,12,13,14,15 so do not see why we must push for Frans.

  7. I see keo is reporting that Rassie said he is looking at Serfontein closely so that is good. I totally agree that SA-based players should be looked at first, but center is a position we lacking depth and Serfontein is worldclass. He and DDA together will make SA v dangerous.

    Serfontein and JLDP must be in 23. Erasmus v good but missing a trick here. These two will add big strength to this team.

  8. Serfontein just back from injury i believe and what I have seen so far did not impress. He is class but IMO not ready for this tour.
    Du Preez’s – make too many mistakes imo and that is deadly at test level. Another thing I don’t like is they tend to go upright into contact and usually have the strength to bully the contact but test level is a different story and that is a key area I would target the Du Preez’s for turnovers as opposition coach. Potential yes but needs improve on a few things – again only my opinion.
    PS: I was involved in a National coaching team and selection and the criteria to look at is who makes the most good decisions in a game vs bad decisions, who has the skill set to take the chances given (test level they are rare). why do you think Pollard is ahead of Jantjies…

  9. Congrats JT. I’m about 6 years min away from grandpa with my eldest and about 20 years away with my youngest. (yes she is only 10 months old.) good job

  10. Yep Oupa JT, I can understand if Serfontein been out for a while. Only thing is this guy looked absolutely brilliant in a kak Bok team in 2016. He will add a huge amount once get match sharp.

    I’ve not seen anyone dispossess JPLF and more importantly, seem him go back. All the best Bok teams have a meneer at 4 and 7 imo. PSDT has a brilliant workrate and I wouldn’t leave out, but I’d play both – could be sure ch a strong team.

  11. Watch the du Preez closely – breakdown work etc. They have the odd good ball carry (still too high in my opinion) but when it comes to securing your own breakdown… who does the work?

    Boks have a good set-up now with Mostert, PSDT, Kolisi etc. doing great work at the breakdown (Kolisi in the wider channels, Mostert for example closer in.) Some of us like to complain about the balance in the backrow but the way they are set-up imo works pretty effectively due to the job description of the personnel.
    For example: if Lood starts ahead of Mostert you need PSDT – you can not leave out both PSDT and Mostert – that fs-up the balance more than having a perceived “unbalanced” 6,7,8

  12. @Oupa Joe:
    PS: I am not saying that the du Preezs are crap – I think if they could tweak their game they could be better than PSDT/Mostert because of their ability to carry the ball.
    However – current Bok set-up need PSDT and Mostert more than what du Preez’s would bring on current skill level/ability

  13. Interesting viewpoint – yep I think all the current players are good. But I still think Serfontein and JLDP would just make a strong squad even stronger.

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