Meyer: No Boks free to play Currie Cup

2012-09-26 00:00

COACH Heyneke Meyer has decided against releasing any of his 30-man Springbok squad for this weekend’s Currie Cup games.

Meyer will today announce his Springbok match squad of 22 for the Rugby Championship Test against the Wallabies at Loftus and the remaining eight players will be left kicking their heels in the grandstand on Saturday.

The Sharks had hoped that wing Lwazi Mvovo and hooker Craig Burden, who are almost certainly surplus to Meyer’s requirements, would have been allowed to return early in the week to take their place in the team to meet the Blue Bulls at King’s Park on Friday.

But Sharks coach John Plumtree said yesterday Meyer would not be releasing any of his players.

Feathers will be seriously ruffled in this part of the world if the talented Pat Lambie, who has been largely sidelined by Meyer for the four Rugby Championship internationals, is not involved at Loftus.

The inclusion of the Lions’ Elton Jantjies (flyhalf) and Jaco Taute (fullback) in the squad could mean that Lambie has dropped even further down Meyer’s pecking-order — even though he has not played — and he may even be omitted from today’s squad of 22.

We saw against the Lions how Burden’s form had suffered after weeks of inactivity and Lambie is bound to be rusty when he is finally allowed to play again.

Johan Goosen was reportedly running at flyhalf — in place of Morné Steyn — at yesterday’s Bok practice and Frans Steyn (ankle) is recovering and should also be fit for Saturday.

Lock Eben Ezebeth, with his suspension behind him, is likely to return to the starting line-up.

Plumtree did have some good news for Sharks supporters with hooker Kyle Cooper back in training. He said the pressure was mounting on the players with just three Currie Cup games left.

“I’m satisfied with much of our game, but I’m not happy with the way we are still turning over possession and it hurt us in Kimberley and then in Johannesburg.

“We were good enough to beat the Lions, and should have won it, but we threw it away and that was disappointing …”

Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar last night named his team for Friday and CJ Stander joins the loose trio in place of Springbok Jacques Potgieter.

Flyhalf Louis Fouché faces a late fitness test with Lionel Cronjé standing by to replace him.

Blue Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Louis Fouché/Lionel Cronjé, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Dewald Potgieter (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Morné Mellett.

Replacement: Bongo Mbonambi, Frik Kirsten, Grant Hattingh, Warwick Tecklenburg, Ruan Snyman, Lionel Cronjé/Willie du Plessis, Ulrich Beyers.

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