Gary Boshoff

Bok selector for a day...

2012-04-10 10:45
Sport24 columnist Gary Boshoff (File)
Saturday’s performance by the Bulls was the most emphatic statement of why the franchise has managed to win the Super Rugby title on three different occasions in recent years, the only South African franchise to do so. It also explains why Heyneke Meyer is trying very hard to get the core of the Blue Bulls management team to be part of his Springbok management team. 

It probably makes sense in that it was he who was the architect behind the systems that have resulted in the Bulls’ unprecedented success at Super Rugby level. It is clear that Meyer believes that the same success can be replicated at national level. His biggest enemy though; is time.

After having watched the implosion of the Sharks against the Hurricanes and the Stormers notching up another winning performance and yes, the Cheetahs systematically dismantling the Lions, I found myself playing selector yet again. I mean, the English will be here in a few months and it is about time that we start speculating about who should play in Meyer’s first Test against the Poms.

As it stands, most of the positions in the Springbok run-on team are shoo-ins, but there are some positions where the former Bulls mentor is sure to come up with a few surprises. 

Take for instance the front row, where we all agree that Bismarck du Plessis is South Africa’s best hooker and that he should start every single Test for the Springboks.
 
Notwithstanding this, I have noticed that quite a number of rugby journalists have started to tout Chiliboy Ralepelle as South Africa’s first-choice hooker. Now don’t get me wrong, Chiliboy has been playing excellent rugby in the Super Rugby competition this year, but better than Bismarck? I don’t think so! The Springboks can’t afford to start any of the English Tests without Bismarck Du Plessis's physical presence. He is a must.
 
That having been said, it seems as if his brother, Jannie, has returned to his old ways (2010) when he was more a liability than an asset for the Sharks. The "Beast" is still in recuperation and it will take a miracle for him to be battle-ready by June 9.

It certainly looks like we’re going to see a few surprises in the Springbok front row come that opening Test.

Another area of worry is the midfield combinations. I believe we can accept that barring injury, Francois Hougaard and Morne Steyn will be the halfback pairing while Francois Steyn (if he returns in time) will be at inside centre. The outside centre birth should go to Juan de Jongh since he is the incumbent. At this stage it looks as if JP Pietersen has taken himself out of the equation by agreeing to a move to outside centre for the Sharks. While he has been impressive out of broken play, he still has to prove himself as an outside centre "proper". For him to be effective he needs an inside centre that is able to create enough space for a him to run strong and straight. Perhaps he will still be able to impress Meyer if Francois Steyn decides to join the Sharks.
 
Another player that must have attracted the attention of Meyer is Robert Ebersohn. He has finally matured and has displayed brilliant skills and anticipation in both defence and attack for the Cheetahs thus far this year. He is a certain contender for the outside centre position.

On the wings, Bryan Habana and Lwazi Mvovo should be shoo-ins. Both have been excellent this year and will only get better over the next few weeks. Which leaves the fullback position - another headache for Meyer? While Gio Aplon is my favourite I have to say that Joe Petersen has returned from his overseas jaunt a new player. He has been so impressive thus far and if he continues like that he should be an easy selection for Meyer.

Andries Bekker needs a lock mate and at this stage it looks like an all Stormers affair with the young Eben Etzebeth and Rynardt Elstadt the strongest contenders. I am not a big fan of Flip van der Merwe who never seems to be able to stay on his feet, whether he is carrying the ball or cleaning out at the rucks. Pierre Spies, Willem Alberts and Heinrich Brüssow are bound to cover the back and sides of the scrum.

The South African franchises are showing great form in Super Rugby and I believe that Meyer won’t have a problem in selecting a very competitive squad for his first Test series in charge of the Springboks. It is understandable that he would want to select a winning squad, but I believe it will still be an insult to the in-form Super Rugby players if the Springbok coach opts for overseas-based players instead.

Gary Boshoff is a former SARU player and current Afrikaans rugby commentator on SuperSport.

Disclaimer:
Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

Read more on:    springboks  |  super 15  |  gary boshoff  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
47 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

After their narrow defeat to the All Blacks in Wellington, the Springboks will be relishing their "return" clash at Ellis Park. Or will they... ? Who do you see winning in Johannesburg?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.