Plumtree surprised as selectors shun Kockott

2009-05-22 00:00

SHARKS scrumhalf Rory Kockott will have a chance to prove a point in front of the Springbok selectors when he turns out for the Namibia XV against Peter de Villiers’s South African squad on May 29.

Kockott was one of the surprise omissions from the Springbok training squad named earlier this week, with the national selectors opting for the patchy Ricky Januarie and Jano Vermaak as their back-up to Test certainty Fourie du Preez. Current Bulls players, involved in the Super 14 play-offs, were not considered for either team.

Two former Bok and Bulls players, fullback Jaco van der Westhuyzen and flyhalf Derick Hougaard, will also be in a beefed- up Namibian team.

Other Boks included are Tonderai Chavhanga, Meyer Bosman and Wayne Julies . Former Sharks prop Kees Lensing will lead the side against John Smit’s SA squad and the two will pack down against each other in the front-row.

Former Bok coach John Williams is in charge of the Namibian team, which is crowded with South African players.

Sharks coach John Plumtree said he is surprised that three Sharks — Kockott, tighthead Jannie du Plessis and fullback Stefan Terblanche — had been overlooked by the Bok selectors.

“Stefan has been the form fullback in South Africa for the past two seasons and he has done everything that has been asked of him,” said Plumtree.

He said that the Sharks have the two best tighthead props in the country in Smit and Jannie du Plessis — “both Jannie and Rory Kockott were unlucky”.

Plumtree has given his Sharks players a 10-day break before they meet again to prepare for the big game against the touring British Lions at King’s Park on June 10.

“We’ll only know at the end of the month [when the Bok squad for the British Lions Test series is named] who will be available. After the Lions game the players will have another 10-day break before we start with the Currie Cup,” said Plumtree.

The Sharks could have Springboks Frans Steyn and Ruan Pienaar back for the Lions game if their recovery from injury goes according to plan.

Both are desperately short of rugby and they will need to make a quick and lasting impression when they return if they are to feature in the Lions series.

15 Jaco van der Westhuyzen, 14 Tonderai Chavhanga, 13 Frikkie Welsh, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Llewellyn Winckler, 10 Derick Hougaard, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Jacques Burger, 7 Duane Vermeulen, 6 Jacques Nieuwenhuis, 5 Nico Breedt, 4 David de Villiers, 3 Kobus Calldo, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Kees Lensing (capt).

Replacements: 16 Hugo Horn, 17 Johnny Redelinghuys, 18 Ruan Vermeulen, 19 Anton van Zyl, 20 Wayne Julies, 21 Jurie van Tonder, 22 Chrysander Botha.

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