Johnson out of RWC squad?

2011-08-23 17:10

Herman Mostert 

Cape Town - The Cheetahs have included eightman Ashley Johnson in their team to take on Griquas in a Currie Cup match on Saturday, which in all likelihood suggests he won't be included in the Springbok squad for the World Cup.

The Springboks announce their 30-man squad for the showpiece in New Zealand at 19h30 on Tuesday evening.

This will come as a shock to many, as earlier reports indicated that Johnson should make coach Peter de Villiers's squad.

Die Burger newspaper reported on Tuesday that Johnson's versatility and skills should be enough for him to board the plane to New Zealand.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Blue Bulls included Boks Zane Kirchner (fullback), wings Bjorn Basson and Akona Ndungane, centre Wynand Olivier, lock Flip van der Merwe and props Werner Kruger and Dean Greyling in their side to take on the Leopards in a Currie Cup clash.

Jean Deysel, Lwazi Mvovo and Charl McLeod were also all present at the Sharks' training on Tuesday ahead of their clash against the Golden Lions.

This could indicate that all these players won't be part of De Villiers's World Cup plans, unless given special dispensation to play in the Currie Cup this weekend.

With Johnson potentially not making the squad, the inclusion of Bath loose forward Francois Louw seems all the more likely.

Media reports indicated on Monday that Louw may well be in De Villiers's plans.




Free State Cheetahs: 15 Riaan Smit, 14 Philip Snyman, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Corne Uys, 11 Cameron Jacobs, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Johan Wessels, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Francois Uys, 3 W.P. Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen

Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Marcel van der Merwe, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Boom Prinsloo, 20 Pieter van Zyl, 21 Johan Goosen, 22 Philip Burger.


  • Bulldozer - 2011-08-23 17:16

    Maybe if he had awesome hair like Frans Steyn, it would've been a different story.

      Wormtongue - 2011-08-23 17:47


      2012 - 2011-08-23 18:11

      Ashley is good enough to go to RWC.....but by all means leave meisiekind and the gang fact..they can leave the pony Spies behind too.....F Louw & Jonhson thumbs up!!!

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-08-23 18:18

      Maybe if he was as awesome as Duane, F Louw and Schalk he would have been there? So, No Johnson, Deysel, Kanko etc etc.....who will the bolters be folk? F Louw - 100%. Sir Duane (nearly fit) possibly? Maybe? Oh, I would party like it's 1999. That said, whoever makes the cut - kick @ss boys - each and every one of you! PS: Lloyd - leave Frans Steyn alone, as you know I am a fan......and regardless of his conditioning and hair, the man is needed - I want his boot, his bulk, and his very much improved distribution on the field (play him at 12, I have zero issues with Jean sitting out a game or 2. Frans would be killer in that channel in certain games....)

      RandomDude - 2011-08-23 18:31

      @2012 Do a quick search in the stats for Louw , Spies & Johnson and tell me what you see. Spies belongs in the team Johnson and Louw are liabilities IN WC rugby ( tackles missed and penalties conceded ).

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-08-23 18:40

      @Randomdude - stats can be worked to suit every argument (for and against). Because they don't tell the full story neither before or after the said 'event' being 'statted' took place. But I know of one stat that would be accurate as hell, if Duane (please rugby gods!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will sacrifice whatever you fickle creatures want me to) is announced in the squad tonight, I will pass out after 3 bottles of champagne. That stat is a given. Have a good evening all. Rugby gods, I am watching you.......

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-23 18:43

      Worm, you saw the abuse I had to endure last night when I critisized Frans's hair. I'm just trying to compensate.

      Karoobloed - 2011-08-23 18:58

      Saffa I agree with Frans Steyn at 12 for e.g. the games against the big guys from the Pacific Island teams. Flo, Deysel/Johnson and Vermeulen would have been the ideal trio to tackle those bruisers too. Brussow should be protected for the crucial games.

      Mr. B - 2011-08-23 19:04

      Seems like a safe bet that Flo is in the team then if Johnson's out. Feel sorry for Johnson, he's had a good season. Also got to feel a bit sorry for `deysel, but the good thing is we have depth at loosie. @SAFFA-CAT - if Duane is fit and ready I'll join you for a drink. Man, we need his abrasiveness

      RandomDude - 2011-08-23 19:18

      @SAFFA-CAT I don't buy the straw man, yes it can be manipulation but it's not in this case. To win the world cup you need defense, discipline and you have to nail your penalty kicks. Penalties conceded and tackles missed are very important stats to look at. I suspect it was an important consideration for the AB's when they decided to pass on Crockett. .. Interesting thing to see is how many of the Cheetahs top the list in missed tackles.Coaching and the system the Cheetahs played in Super Rugby could be a factor in Johnson's case . I've not seen any stats on Johnson for the Tri-nations. Agreed on Duane . ... Schalk Brits gets my vote .

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-08-23 19:19

      @Karoobloed - 200%. I don't think Frans's conditioning is ideal for a 15 - and he has definitely lost a yard or 2 of pace, but perfect for 12, especially in the games you mention.....the 12 channel will be safe as houses. And honestly his distribution really has got better with Racing M. But to be a honest, I would just want him on the field.....even at frikkin tighthead if need be....To me the Stormers loose trio would make defensive sense (as I tried to point out to a few peeps last night) considering defense is basically 'our trick' for the WC. If Duane will be fit, he must go.....ideal in those Keewee conditions. I would feel sorry for the players losing out - of course - but would be delighted for Sir Duane. Mr B - a drink? I would get hammered with delight. A 2 year protest would finally have paid off :)

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-08-23 19:24

      Ooops, and just to add - I promote the Stormers loose trio as squad members folk - not as guaranteed starters. Brussow must be there in the big games..... :) @Randomdude - fair enough. To me even the tackle stats are deceptive - because they don't say what the result of the tackle was, what led up to it etc etc. The one that counts is missed tackles IMHO. Yes, Sarel P missed the most tackles in the comp I think? Enjoy the announcement :) The WC really is HERE....kind of - child before Xmas I am!!!

      RandomDude - 2011-08-23 19:35

      @SAFFA .. I'm with you on tackles made, doesn't say much other than that the player is busy . % of tackles made would be more interesting.

  • BringITon007 - 2011-08-23 17:25

    He has played a different game in the green & gold! Not as successful at international level as Super or CC level. Albert grab his chance on saturday - So, should it happen the right choice was made I think?

      GT - 2011-08-23 17:29

      100%, he has been pretty ineffective going to the ball as a flank and has not been a strong carrier either. I would have picked Frans Louw as back up to Brussouw for the tri-nations... wonder if that is going to happen now.

      chappy - 2011-08-23 17:35

      GT - I reckon it would have to - if Johnson, Deysel are both out of the squad, they MUST be considering Louw... we'll find out soon I suppose. Would love to see Louw there as backup to Brussouw.

      Logoll - 2011-08-23 17:47

      I would also love to see Louw there I think he had an awesome Super 15 and a lot of the Stormers success was down to him turning over a lot of ball.

      RandomDude - 2011-08-23 18:11

      Please not Louw .. Schalk Brits . If they included Louw you can stick a fork in us,

      StaalBurgher - 2011-08-23 18:53

      Agreed. Louw is a better fetcher and Deysel a better carrier, although by all accounts Deysel is also out. Then again maybe they are just being given match practice and Johnson is still being selected.

  • powachair - 2011-08-23 17:31

    maybe they need the game time

  • Juggernaut - 2011-08-23 18:08

    Well he should not be there. Simply not strong enough.

  • James - 2011-08-23 18:12

    Ashley is a hard working, robust player with good ball carrying abilities. However we have players like Burger and Alberts who fit this mold with additional fetching attributes and even stronger ball carries respectively. Ashely is good at super rugby level but wont be missed by the boks at the world cup.

      RandomDude - 2011-08-23 18:15

      Ashley is very weak in defense

  • jan du preeaz - 2011-08-23 18:14

    rather leave hasbeenhanna and jp pieterse at home, they almost cost us 4 tries btw them, cannot tackle, don't hold the defence line etc

  • Steyts - 2011-08-23 18:32

    Does this mean that Duane Vermeulen will get picked? I DAMN WELL HOPE SO!!!!!!

      RandomDude - 2011-08-23 18:44

      Duane is a better choice than Johnson or Louw IMO.

  • Zab - 2011-08-23 18:36

    No loss...

  • sharkbait - 2011-08-23 18:48

    Keegan Daniels!!!!

  • Showerhead - 2011-08-23 19:56

    As second prize. After the worldcup many vacancies will be available. Hang in there

  • Bradley Pandy - 2011-08-24 08:13

    I am disappointed that Mvovo and Deysel are not there. Based on form they should both have been in the squad. I think it is unfair to have them as part of the tri-nations, where they both performed well and then all a sudden drop them both for guys you were not part of that mix. They both showed their metal even though the side got trounced by the all-blacks and wallabies.

      Lance - 2011-08-24 10:56

      Yes, between Deysel..Johnson and Flouw it was a tough call indeed. Mvovo has the pace and side-step but I guess the selectors value defence a bit more than those qualities.

  • African'shtr - 2011-08-24 12:15

    we should have also left out JP petersen

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