Springboks

Du Preez: I'm not at my best

2012-06-03 15:01
Fourie du Preez (File)
Pretoria - Former Springbok scrumhalf Fourie du Preez has told coach Heyneke Meyer he doesn't feel he is up to the rigors of international rugby.

Meyer was keen to pick Du Preez as captain in the upcoming series against England but he changed his mind after meeting with Du Preez on Friday.

Du Preez was subsequently not picked in the 32-man Springbok squad announned on Saturday evening.

"I have a lot of respect for Fourie but he knows my motto is team first. I had a few meetings with him and he said he wasn't 100 percent sure he's at his best, having not played for two-and-a-half months," said Meyer.

"It was a hard decision to leave him out but it shows the character of the man that he told me to go with the youngsters if I felt he was a 50-50 selection. I will now chat to the senior players before naming my captain."

In another surprise Meyer also failed to pick Heinrich Brüssow, who is widely considered one of the best openside flankers in the world, because changes to the rule interpretations are resulting in more penalties at the breakdown against his type of player.

"That was a tough call because Heinrich is still up with the best opensides in the game, but the game has changed. They're being penalised more and hookers are stealing more ball now.

"If the laws change, which they will, then he'll definitely be in the mix. But at the moment it's up to him to adapt to the laws."

Meyer named nine uncapped players in the squad, while 15 of last year's World Cup squad were included, as he faces an England team rebuilding ahead of the 2015 World Cup.

"I wanted to start the season with an experienced squad to face England, who are a good, tough side, but injuries have made this difficult," Meyer said.

"This is a team that can play winning Test rugby - brutal defence, big forwards running at each other, tactical kicking and direct rugby.

"This team can play to our typical South African strengths and the side that plays best to their pattern is normally the one that wins."

Springbok squad:

Backs

Zane Kirchner (Bulls), JP Pietersen (Sharks), JJ Engelbrecht (Bulls), Jean de Villiers (Stormers), Wynand Olivier (Bulls), Francois Steyn (Racing Metro/FRA), Bryan Habana (Stormers), Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), Bjorn Basson (Bulls), Morne Steyn (Bulls), Patrick Lambie (Sharks), Elton Jantjies (Golden Lions), Francois Hougaard (Bulls), Jano Vermaak (Bulls), Ruan Pienaar (Ulster/IRL)

Forwards

Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs), Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), Chiliboy Ralepelle (Bulls), Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs), Jannie du Plessis (Sharks), Werner Kruger (Bulls), Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), Flip van der Merwe (Bulls), Franco van der Merwe (Lions), Juandre Kruger (Bulls), Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), Willem Alberts (Sharks), Pierre Spies (Bulls), Ryan Kankowski (Sharks), Keegan Daniel (Sharks), Jacques Potgieter (Bulls)

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