Boks on Tour
Ollie: Boks better off
Kimberley – Former Springbok prop Ollie le Roux believes South Africa will be better off on their European tour with Wian du Preez and Adriaan Strauss in their midst.
The Cheetah front-rankers have been called up to replace injured duo Chiliboy Ralepelle (hooker, foot) and Gurthrö Steenkamp (prop, knee), who were crocked in the Bok dirt-trackers’ defeat against Leicester Tigers on Friday night.
The injured players are already on their way home. Jannie du Plessis (prop) was also forced to return home on Sunday because of a hand injury. He has been replaced by CJ van der Linde.
The Bok scrum was humiliated by the Tigers on Friday night, but Le Roux believes things will be different with Du Preez and Strauss in the tight five.
“Wian attacks the tighthead a lot more, while Gurthrö is struggling along. Adriaan also helps mould the front row into a unit. If you put Jannie du Plessis, Adriaan and Wian together, you’ll have a pretty decent front row,” said Le Roux.
He was speaking before SA Rugby had announced that Du Plessis was also injured.
Du Preez and Strauss were initially overlooked by the Bok selectors for the tour of the Northern Hemisphere.
While they were part of the Cheetahs’ pack that scrummed so well in the Currie Cup, not one of them were rewarded with an initial place in the touring squad.
There were mixed feelings about Lions prop Heinke van der Merwe’s inclusion ahead of Du Preez as he had not widely been considered a contender after being out with a knee injury for long.
The Tigers exploited that lack of game time against the Tigers. Leicester bullied South Africa in the scrums and Van der Merwe’s scrumming did not justify his selection.
“Anybody could see Peter de Villiers (Bok coach) included players who did not deserve to be there,” said Le Roux.
“Steenkamp did not deserve his selection considering form, while the hookers Ralepelle and Bandise Maku have not even proved themselves at Currie Cup level. It is unfair towards players that have performed.”