Meyer calls up Sharks’ Coetzee

2012-05-25 00:00

SPRINGBOK coach Heyneke Meyer has named 11 Sharks, including the talented young Marcell Coetzee, for his fourth and final planning camp in Durban on Sunday and Monday.

The new Bok coach has named 42 players from all five franchises, with several overseas players, among them Frans Steyn, Fourie du Preez and Ruan Pienaar, expected to join a 32-man squad for the three Tests against England in June.

Coetzee, who turned 21 earlier this month, has been in sublime form this season, heading the tackle count among South African loose forwards and, in the absence of the injured Schalk Burger and Juan Smith, he is expected to be included in Meyer’s Springbok Test squad.

The camp this weekend will take place on Sunday and the morning of Monday before the players leave Durban at noon to rejoin their franchises for training in the afternoon.

The Bulls have 15 players in the squad, the Sharks 11, the Stormers eight (but only two forwards) and the Lions and Cheetahs four each.

The Sharks players starting against the Stormers on Saturday, but not included in Meyer’s immediate plans are centres Meyer Bosman and Paul Jordaan, French Test flyhalf Freddie Michalak, scrumhalf Charl McLeod and locks Steven Sykes and Anton Bresler.

Loose forwards Ryan Kankowski, who will be on the bench tomorrow night, and Jean Deysel, omitted from John Plumtree’s Sharks squad, have also been invited to the national camp.

This will be the final opportunity for Meyer to work with the players before the Test squad is named.

“We discussed this camp with the franchise CEOs recently and they’ve been very accommodating in releasing their players,” Meyer said yesterday.

“We’ve scheduled it in Durban, because the Stormers take on the Sharks at King’s Park the day before and will be there already. Players from the Bulls, Lions and Cheetahs will fly in on Sunday morning.

“This is by no means a final Springbok squad and the door will be open for all our eligible players until the announcement of the squad that will take on England.

“This camp will put in place a number of the finer details in terms of what we want to achieve against England. We will hit the ground running on June 3, when we converge in Durban for the first Test with a final squad.”

Meyer said he had been keeping in touch with the franchises regarding injured players, but they had not been considered for this camp.

He also announced yesterday that two former Test players, flyhalf Louis Koen and French prop Pieter de Villiers, have been added to the Springbok management team as consultants for the international season. Former Test flyhalf Koen, who represented the Springboks in 15 Tests between 2000 and 2003, has been appointed as kicking consultant, while De Villiers, who was born in South Africa and played 70 Tests for France from 1999 to 2007, is the Springboks’ scrum consultant.

“They bring a wealth of knowledge in their specialist areas of kicking and scrumming, but also know and understand the rigours of Test rugby, having played at the highest level,” said Meyer.

Koen and De Villiers will join the Springboks at their camp in Durban on Sunday.

The Springbok squad will gather in Durban on Sunday, June 3, before their first Test at King’s Park on June 9.

Players invited to the final Springbok planning camp

Forwards (22): Coenie Oosthuizen, Tendai Mtawarira, Dean Greyling, Jannie du Plessis, Pat Cilliers, Werner Kruger, Bismarck du Plessis, Adriaan Strauss, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Flip van der Merwe, Eben Etzebeth, Andries Bekker, Juandré Kruger, Marcell Coetzee, CJ Stander, Heinrich Brüssow, Keegan Daniel, Willem Alberts, Jean Deysel, Pierre Spies, Ryan Kankowski, Josh Strauss.

Backs (20): Francois Hougaard, Jano Vermaak, Piet van Zyl, Morné Steyn, Pat Lambie, Elton Jantjies, Peter Grant, Wynand Olivier, Jean de Villiers, Juan de Jongh, JJ Engelbrecht, Bryan Habana, Bjorn Basson, JP Pietersen, Gio Aplon, Lwazi Mvovo, Akona Ndungane, Zane Kirchner, Jaco Taute, Joe Pietersen.

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