Boks call on Cheetah power

2009-11-08 22:15

Gerdie Karstens

Kimberley - It appears as if the Springbok selectors have finally taken cognisance of the scrumming power of the Free State Cheetahs.

Cheetahs hooker and captain Adriaan Strauss, Free State loosehead prop Wian du Preez and former Cheetahs tighthead CJ van der Linde have all been called up to the Springbok squad for the tour of Europe by national coach Peter de Villiers.

Strauss and Du Preez travelled to Johannesburg on Sunday. Van der Linde, who is currently playing for Irish team Leinster, is joining up with the Boks in France on Wednesday.

Hooker and captain of the Bok dirt-trackers, Chiliboy Ralepelle, as well as props Gurthrö Steenkamp and Jannie du Plessis, are all returning to South Africa after they sustained injuries in the first tour game against the Leicester Tigers on Friday night.

Van der Linde’s call-up is just as big a surprise as the initial omission of Du Preez and Strauss from the Bok squad. He has not played for the Boks since August 2008 in the Tri-Nations and there will be significant interest in his performances in the Bok jersey.

Experts have long had their doubts about the scrumming ability of South African captain and tighthead prop, John Smit. De Villiers may well have set the cat among the pigeons by picking Van der Linde as a specialist tighthead.

“It’s fantastic that we can call on a player like CJ to join us. He’s a specialist tighthead prop and provides the kind of strength we need,” De Villiers said in a statement by SA Rugby on Sunday.

Du Preez’s omission from the Bok squad shocked experts, especially after his quick rise in the scrumming world.

The inclusion of Lions prop Heinke van der Merwe, who had been injured for long and did not get much game time, came as a surprise. His lack of game time was exposed against Leicester and cost the Boks dearly in the scrums.

Strauss should also have worn the Green-and-Gold a lot earlier.

He proved himself in the Currie Cup as hooker and captain and is a much better hooker than the Bulls’ Ralepelle and Bandise Maku.

“Hopefully they get the opportunities they deserve at Test level,” said Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské.

The chances appear good that Strauss and Du Preez may both find themselves on the Boks’ substitute bench for the first Test of the tour.

“France place a lot of emphasis on good scrumming and Wian will definitely be an asset to the Bok scrum. He already proved himself in the Currie Cup and while Heinke’s selection above him did not make sense, he now gets the opportunity to play his part,” said Drotské.

Strauss will also be an asset with his leadership capabilities and good general play, Drotské believes.

“He can add value, especially at international level. He’s a leader with a strong personality and surely one of the best hookers in the country,” said Drotské.

  • Lou - 2009-11-08 22:34

    Should've had them against Leicester.

  • Main OKE - 2009-11-08 23:03

    Finally! cause CASTRO GIOVANNI DOMINATED! WHAT A HERO! We need also need Lionel Mapoe to get a call-up. That oke played like a champ all season, he really has an impact on the wing and doesnt steal oxygen like (*cough*cough*: odwa ndungwane)...

  • Gerald - 2009-11-08 23:08

    And the rugby Gods smile on us - and P Divvy - again. How many more times will we get by with lucky injuries? I know we must never wish injury on players, but how else will we get our best players on the field? So why is Francois Steyn not being called up while we are at it? No fullback can replace him adequately.

  • John Paul Jones - 2009-11-08 23:28

    How come CJ , who plays for Leinster, can be called up whereas Jean de Villiers, who plays for Munster, cannot? Can someone please explain this to me. Ditto for Frans Steyn in France. Why are Jean and Frans 'ineligible' for selection as 'overseas-based players', yet CJ is evidently eligible? What is the story, is it a matter of their individual contracts?

  • Geejay - 2009-11-08 23:37

    So now the selectors do what everyone in South Africa knew already? And by the way Girls make up your mind, either overseas based players are eligible for selection or not. Don't now wax lyrical about having so much depth. Has it only dawned on you now that having more players playing in first class rugby offers SA and advantage not a disadvantage? Now if you could just dedicate the Currie cup for players who are South African only, then you would start to address transformation as well. Why make easy things difficult?

  • Politician - 2009-11-08 23:55

    I trust this will be a ? and a ? against PdV name?.

  • arthur - 2009-11-09 01:07

    pieter de villiers can't run a the heck can we expect him to run the SPRINGBOK rugby team the fiasco goes on and on

  • Douglas - 2009-11-09 02:03

    It is not the selectors who made the mistake but the one man band Snorre.

  • Anja - 2009-11-09 02:06

    Good. But why are the two uselss hookers that played Saturday staying?

  • Mike - 2009-11-09 02:54

    A case of closing the stable doors after the horse has bolted!

  • Kevin Rack - 2009-11-09 05:01

    About time, should have selected D De Veliers, Mapoe, Mpho Mbiyozo,Sarel Pretorius, Juries, Vermuelen, Bosch, Ebersholm, Daniller and Liebenberg. Too many oldies/favourites and quotas and look what happened. Baggage: Maku, Chili, Raubenheimer(good player needs bulk), Gufro, Bosman, Rose, Vd Merwe(Injury), Danisuraus, DeJongh...

  • Benny - 2009-11-09 05:27

    He's a fast learner, this snorrer of ours. This tour will prove once and for all whether he is the best coach ever or, as many claim, that he's been riding on the back of Jake White's success. Good luck to him and the team.

  • Ferdi - 2009-11-09 06:16

    Julius and Brian wont be happy, but the fans are. Div at a crossroad?

  • Imbgoriako - 2009-11-09 06:31

    when you put token players in a team the end result shows...when will these incompetents EVER wake up to that fact. if you are not the best don't consider playing...all rugby supporters know why the best are and when you put people of colour in critical positions when they are not even vodacom cup hopefuls then you will lose. selectors need to be ousted and competent ones replace them

  • Dgs - 2009-11-09 06:46

    Why must we first undergo a humiliating defeat before PdV and the selectors see a bit of sense? Idiots!!!

  • Rob - 2009-11-09 06:50


  • valentino - 2009-11-09 06:58

    Yep, the quota players were badly exposed in that game. And they recon old Chilli is the future captain of the boks bwaa haa hha!

  • dj - 2009-11-09 07:01

    At last some sense. The selectors must stop trying to be cute

  • wins - 2009-11-09 07:30

    Now we start looking at merit players.

  • een,twee,drie - 2009-11-09 07:37

    It used to be the IQ of some of the players that was questionable. It is now certain that it is the IQ of the selector/s that has been exposed. Talk about being delusional - these guys take the cake! They are insulting those who know something about the game and the pedigree of the Springbok.

  • Marius - 2009-11-09 07:38

    Hoekom vat hulle nie sommer Os ook saam om die voorspelers af te rig nie, want Paarwater het nie 'n clue van voorspelerspel nie. Net nog 'n politieke aanstelling

  • sobeit - 2009-11-09 07:48

    Pienaar had a shocker never mind the "quota" players, but in his defence why pick players out of position PDiddy?

  • wim - 2009-11-09 08:02

    Atl last indeed and with Chilli and Guthro gone the team should already be 50% better now if they want it a 100% better they must get rid of Raubenheimer and Bandise. I knew that they would lose to leister as i said how can you expect to win with a SA fourth best side. What shocked me though is that Leicster had 8 injuries and that 4 or 5 of their players played for England so it was their B-side . Im so glad that at least they are admitting thier mistake and getting rid of some of the deadwood in the camp and bringing in real talent

  • If I were a Cheetah Player - 2009-11-09 08:10

    I will tell SA Rugby and the Springbok selectors to go jump of somewhere. What more much the Cheetahs do to prove that they can provide quality players. What is even worse is that the two prop coming home starter in Bloemfontein. It is a disgrace that it has to take injuries to out of form "Springgods" from Pretoria and Durban to give the Cheetahs change to prove themselves, as if they did not prove themselves enough against the Springgods in the Currie Cup. It is like the id10cy of having an injury to Spies so that the best fetcher in the world can get a chance to play. My words to the Boks, as a supporter I hope you get what you deserve, a wake-up call.

  • Johnnie - 2009-11-09 08:15

    Something must be wrong with Chillieboys toks. The moment he puts them on, he gets injured.

  • Smit - 2009-11-09 08:16

    To all of you boxes out their, well, Pienaar was neva in the game and the wannebe, Wynand just showed again his quality of play. Even the locks could not get on the go. Must say Earl Rose once again showed all you dummy SA rugby supporters why Pdv feels strong about him. Wynand could neva break the line, so pathetic. And bru Wynand, that hairstyle was popular in the 60'tys. So please blame the non quota players please. Maybe we should get eddie jones in to help, cause they still used his plan. SA was ouutlayed by a much better team who had a bunch of Bulls players and bokkie players, and the bunch of merit players was sooooo pathetic

  • Smart move - 2009-11-09 08:21

    Credit to the selectors ... at least they got a groot skrik and are doing something about it. Good to see they are not hiding behind ego's - the real test of a strong leader is not making mistakes but having the guts to do something about them.

  • Herman - 2009-11-09 08:23

    So obvious that the wrong choices were made. Slightly better, but where is WP Nel and Mopoe? Rugby is about competing in a sport, not about representing politically correct members. It is time that players get nominated for Springboks because of their skill, and not from the Rugby union they come from.

  • Will - 2009-11-09 08:28

    Quota selections results in losing consistantly which will result in empty stands / bankrupt unions and the end of rugby in S.A ! I say,choose on merit only.

  • EWS - 2009-11-09 08:44

    What happened in the bok's training camp on Friday. Snorre was sitting there like a fish on dry ground and Dick was calling the shots to the supporting staff next to the field. Who is the coach ?

  • anonymous - 2009-11-09 08:50

    Goodness all this quota talk is a nonesense. Why not mention the influence of the broederbond becos the whole blue bulls team is in the side. Some of them not on merit.

  • William Shakespeare - 2009-11-09 08:54

    Surely Div must be the luckiest coach ever... now he's got the cheetahs front row without doing nothing!

  • lucille - 2009-11-09 08:54

    Watched the game on Friday and was very impressed by Ashley Johnson and Heine Adams had brilliant games so did Earl Rose. Whateva happened to Ruan Pienaar he definitely does not deserve his place he lost the game for us on Friday. Oh oops his not even a quota. LOL

  • McGyver - 2009-11-09 08:54

    All you racists cudnt wait for the loss...! I used to be against the quota system until read the comments of this article and reliased how racists we are. To even say dont "put people of colour in critical positions" (@Imbgoriako) is digusting. All 15 posts available are critical. The tail is just as important as the head.That team had 10 non-regular Boks. If they win, its always "PdV is still riding on Jake's success. If they lose... "its flippin the blacks". I now am firm believer in quotas.

  • @smit - 2009-11-09 09:00

    You are an idiot. Look at the game through clear glasses. Your comment about Wynand shows your provincial predudice and lack of rugby knowledge. No centre, not even the great Danie Gerber can create anything without the ball. If your centre has to do the work of a looseforward the whole game , because your flankers want to play inside centre and stuffing it up everytime too , he obviously can't display his ability as a centre.

  • DR - 2009-11-09 09:03

    Once again the players that everyone knew should have been selected only get called up cause of lucky injuries( like Brussow in Lions tests)................this is ridiculous!!!!! Someone teach these people how to select a good team from the beginning!

  • Herbert - 2009-11-09 09:11

    this is a mistake. CJ is no good at this level anymore. He'll get hammered. We need guys who can hold the forwards together. Luke Watson should be in the team he is a great motivator of the forwards. Hans van Dyk also needs a look in at hooker.

  • Dave - 2009-11-09 09:25

    The quota players selected are there in the HOPE that the overseas oponents see that we (our stupid selectors) are trying to collect "brownie points" in ensuring that blacks are representing the country and feel sorry for us. It is not ,will not,and will never happen, only the best will do. If you are of colour and are the best then great, because you are representing us, black and white.

  • brandon - 2009-11-09 09:56

    No, John Paul it isnt a matter of their contracts it's a matter of PDV's ego. Once again he realises that he didnt make the correct decision at the start(like he did with brussouw and morne, only realising later that the country was right in wanting them in the squad).Now he's realising he picked the wrong players.That maybe, he can't just pitch up and win every game with whoever he dons a bok jersey on.Perhaps once again he was wrong in his policy, this time being his no- selection of overseas based players. So he'll make the one exception with CJ because his hand is forced, but he wont bring frans or Jean because then it would be like admitting he was wrong.And he never thinks he is wrong. By making only one exception(CJ) he reckons we wont notice he went back on his policy.

  • infoguru - 2009-11-09 10:13

    The only way the coach can select the best players is to first show that the quota didn't work. Thats why you play an quota team against a club and not a test.

  • darkwing - 2009-11-09 10:19

    No really, the nonsense spoken here is worse than the game on Friday. Quota players get blamed, but in the same breath Mapoe must be in the side, which I agree with. That man is dangerous. Dick Muir coached this lot. They made a mistake, they must blood new guys and they will work through them all until they find the right mix. And if we beat France handsomely what kak will you speak then?

  • Nick Armstrong - 2009-11-09 10:40

    At last! At last! At last! Sanity - rugby logic - prevails. Wian du Preez; Andries Strauss and CJ vd Linde is the best and strongest - match-fit - front-row at the moment. Make no mistake - Heinke vd Merwe is our strongest loose-head (arguably the best in the world) - but he hasn't played a game in 7 months - it's not fair on him (or others who deserve to be there now, eg Wian) to thrust him straight into a Bok team. The Beast, Bismarck and John Smit should all be at home resting (as well as Victor and Bakkies) - as called for by Prof Noakes - they crucially need 8-10 weeks' consistent rest (the entire Tri-Nations run-on pack does). In any event - our strongest front-row combination (all being fit) - would have Heinke; John (as HOOKER and capt) and CJ starting - with the Beast; Bismarck and BJ Botha on the bench (when the new rule comes into being with 8 subs, including an entire front-row on the bench). Wian, Andries and WP Nel in an enlarged squad. My pack for France would be (had PdV selected the right players, and factoring-in the above): Wian du Preez; Andries Strauss (capt); CJ vd Linde; Danie Rossouw; Andries Bekker; Deon Stegmann; Schalk Burger; Ryan Kankowski. Bench: Tiaan Liebenberg; BJ Botha; David de Villiers; and Dewaldt Potgieter. Much stronger and more potent than running out our Tri-Nations pack - currently physically and mentally fatigued.

  • Cuntobular - 2009-11-09 12:47

    Franny Steyney is injured thats why he cant play. He and the rest of the boks are going to get mauled by alles bleus! GO FRANCE!! BEAT THESE THUGS! THESE WASTED SCRAPS OF THE GENE POOL.

  • @McGyver - 2009-11-09 14:24

    All you are doing with that stupid attitude, is cutting your nose to spite your face.

  • Gerald - 2009-11-09 15:22

    @sobeit - P Divvy has to pick Pienaar at flyhalf because there are non-white scrumhalves trying to get into/stay in the Bok team. His gotta make space somehow.

  • Frontrow - 2009-11-09 16:09

    Don't blame the front support what so ever from the locks and the loose forwards.......Call up who you want PDV, but even CJ would look like a kindergarden youngster if he is not supported by the other forwards in the scrum....

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