Heyneke Meyer announced his Springbok Squad to go on tour in Australia and New Zealand for the away leg of the Rugby Championship. Juan de Jongh, Johan Goosen, Francois Louw and Duane Vermeulen comes into the squad. JJ Engelbrecht, Elton Jantjies & Keegan Daniel has been released to go and play for their respective provinces. Meyer did promise before the squad announcement that he would not make any wholesale changes and he didn’t. The players coming into the squad will definitely bolster it. The ones leaving, well it weakens the squad more than anything else. Here is the squad to tour:
Willem Alberts (The Sharks) 13 caps
Andries Bekker (DHL Western Province) 26 caps
Craig Burden (The Sharks) uncapped
Pat Cilliers (MTN Golden Lions) 2 caps
Marcell Coetzee (The Sharks) 5 caps
Juan de Jongh (DHL Western Province) 10 caps
Jean de Villiers (capt, DHL Western Province) 77 caps
Jannie du Plessis (The Sharks) 35 caps
Eben Etzebeth (DHL Western Province) 5 caps
Johan Goosen (Toyota FS Cheetahs) uncapped
Dean Greyling (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 2 caps
Bryan Habana (DHL Western Province) 79 caps
Francois Hougaard (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 20 caps
Zane Kirchner (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 17 caps
Juandré Kruger (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 3 caps
Pat Lambie (The Sharks) 13 caps
Tiaan Liebenberg (DHL Western Province) 1 cap
Francois Louw (Bath, England) 10 caps
Tendai Mtawarira (The Sharks) 37 caps
Lwazi Mvovo (The Sharks) 6 caps
Ruan Pienaar (Ulster, N-Ireland) 56 caps
Jacques Potgieter (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 3 caps
Frans Steyn (The Sharks) 51 caps
Morné Steyn (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 39 caps
Adriaan Strauss (Toyota FS Cheetahs) 14 caps
Flip van der Merwe (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 16 caps
Jano Vermaak (Vodacom Blue Bulls) uncapped
Duane Vermeulen (DHL Western Province) uncapped
What I can’t understand is why Keegan Daniel has been dropped from the side and Jacques Potgieter retained. Meyer must have watched a different test match than the one we saw on Saturday night. Potgieter was nowhere and hardly impressed me enough to select him for a Sunday afternoon club friendly let alone the Springboks. Daniel on the other hand made an impact the moment he came onto the field and disrupted the Puma maul. Jantjies gets dropped without being given a chance to prove himself and Morne who has had only one reasonable test in the last 5 remains in the squad. JJ Engelbrecht must be relieved at being given to play some rugby for a change as he has not gotten much game time with the Springboks.
Craig Burden, Jano Vermaak and Pat Lambie must be the world’s most expensive porters as they are apparently in the squad to carry the team bags seeing that they have not been given any game time at all. In all probability Goosen willalso go along for the free vacation and some training, not a bad thing, but he needs some more game time after his injury. Duane might be a bit luckeir, but I would have given him some more time to recover and become game fit before selecting him. It will be interesting to see who Meyer selects for his game day 22 and if he will even consider the guys he has called up.
It seems to me that Meyer likes to contradict himself and does so with ease every time he holds a press conference. Before the England series he said that Juan de Jongh is too small, yet he keeps on calling him back when there is a problem or when he feels it is need. On Monday he said that the reason the Springboks struggled against Argentina was that some of the players were inexperienced and has not played away from home. Today he states clearly that they are not looking for excuses and that they know what needs to be done. Please Mr. Meyer make up your mind you can’t give an excuse and then two days later say you are not be looking for excuses.
The one thing that bugs me is that players clearly not performing remains in the side and guys that are showing improvement are being let go. Maybe SARU should sponsor Heyneke with a PVR decoder so that he can record the games and watch it later at home. It is clear to me that the rest of the coaching staff in the box with Heyneke and that radio is distracting him. If that is not the case I will ask again: “What is the man smoking or does he need a serious visit to an optometrist?” Then again he might just want to change his game plan and allow the guys to play proper rugby not this kick and chase stuff.
No matter what he decides I will once again be supporting the Springboks come 8 September and I really do hope that by hook or by crook they win. If not and if it is due to a bad game plan and players in poor form, Mr. Meyer can expect another tongue lashing from me. Should they win and perform at their best I will give the credit due. Currently however very little credit is due.
As always these are just my thoughts and views ………………………..
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