De Villiers questions the squad

2014-10-29 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers says he cannot understand why the Boks have opted to take 36 players to Europe for their year-end tour.

Heyneke Meyer’s Springboks play Tests against Ireland, England, Italy and Wales in November.

In an interview with Ballz Radio’s Darren Scott, he said the squad was too big and a few players would just go as passengers.

“I can’t understand how you can … take 36 players if there’s no midweek matches. Who are you kidding — yourself or the players you are taking along?

“You only need 30 players … [and] then there are seven players who won’t play week after week. To keep those seven happy is a problem — and now it will become 13 players.”

De Villiers said Meyer was putting himself under pressure and that players would get discouraged for not playing.

They would then lose trust in him as as coach. He advised keeping the squad small, as Europe was only a night’s flight away in case of injuries.

De Villiers singled out Western Province backs Cheslin Kolbe and Juan de Jongh as players unlucky not to make the squad.

“Kolbe could have gained experience living with the Springboks. I can’t think why Juan de Jongh is not in the team … We have enough leaders up front, but not so much in the backline. Now we have a captain who has won a Currie Cup, who has experienced Test rugby before, and has never been overshadowed by any Test centre,” he said.

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