Centre crisis for Springboks

2010-10-31 23:53

Stephen Nell

Durban – “Even the bad times are good” - This is usually the answer you get from Springbok coach Peter de Villiers when enquiring about his well-being shortly after greeting.

However, he may well be having nightmares over the scale of the injury crisis that has hit his squad ahead of Saturday’s Test against Ireland in Dublin.

On Sunday afternoon there was not a single fit centre in the Bok squad that got together in Johannesburg.

Juan de Jongh suffered an ankle injury in Saturday’s Currie Cup final, while Jean de Villiers is struggling with a groin injury.

Adrian Jacobs has been asked to join up with the squad as a precautionary measure, though no call had yet been made on whether he will jet out with the squad to Ireland on Wednesday night.

Meyer Bosman may also be considered.

While there has not yet been confirmation about the injury status of De Jongh and De Villiers, there are major doubts in the Western Province camp as to whether they will be able to play as early as this coming weekend.

De Jongh and De Villiers were the only specialist centres in the Bok squad of 30 announced on Saturday night.

Frans Steyn can also play centre – he does so often for Racing Metro in France – but it not available for the Dublin Test as it falls outside the International Rugby Board’s (IRB) so-called Test window.

Wynand Olivier and Jaque Fourie could not be considered due to injuries.

Patrick Lambie, who was outstanding at flyhalf for the Sharks in Saturday’s Currie Cup final against Western Province, is also an option for the Bok midfield, though it’s tough to imagine a bigger baptism of fire.

The Bok management already got their first bit of bad news on Saturday night when Ricky Januarie was withdrawn due to a knee injury suffered in the final.

However, with Francois Hougaard and Ruan Pienaar already in the squad, the scrumhalf position is the least of the Boks’ worries.

Things may well get worse as flank Schalk Burger took a huge knock to the chest in the first half of Saturday’s final.

There is therefore a possibility of more bad tidings inside the next 24 hours.

The Bok coach is eager to pick his strongest available side, irrespective of who played in Saturday’s Currie Cup final.

“I don’t think the players are tired. There are new horizons to explore and we want to bring hope for the nation,” said De Villiers.

“The World Cup next year is what we’re working towards, but we can bring some hope and get strong support if we do well.”

De Villiers was not aware of the lengthy injury list at the time of speaking to the media, but said that the selectors did have contingency plans.

“The injury list is a lengthy one, but there are a few guys I’d like to try at centre if necessary,” he said when quizzed about a squad thin on midfield cover.


  • Eish - 2010-11-01 00:46

    We saw how fatigued the boks were last year. Hell man, give them a break. But the only thing on PIV DADDY's mind is keeping his job and he needs the experienced guys to help him. he should have doen his home-work when the Tri-Nations concluded. Now all conditioning is out the door...keep on going like this and you'll have no senior players left next year...then you are in the st....nt. BIG UPS PIV DADDY AND need some serious coaching in planning and running a national team...

  • denis - 2010-11-01 00:58

    Its not a centre crisis, its a selection and coaching crisis. Our best uninjured centres will be watching the matches at home.

  • zulu-blonde - 2010-11-01 01:42

    it really shows how little depth we have when Jacobs is back in the mix!!!...but who else would fill in: Waylon Murray??(potential, but not quite there)/Robert Ebersohn(too small at the moment) not such a problem at 12 with guys like Strauss, La Grange, Watermeyer, Bosman....looking towards the future i think guys like Mapoe and Van den heever should move to 13..yes they are lacking the defence and handling but that will come..i think they could be deadly!!!

  • Kevin - 2010-11-01 04:10

    This has always been a weekness. Adi has not played and will be foolsih to use him. His colour will help him get selected. The Sharks Struass or Swanepoel. I reckon Ruan Pienaar will make an excellent 12

  • Cliff Bradley - 2010-11-01 04:20

    What crisis?? Just pick Watermeyer and Olivier. It should be an all Bulls backline

  • Chris W - 2010-11-01 05:32

    Stephen don't like the title of your article. If you saw the game on Saturday we have ots of depth to call on from centres not selected.

  • BALSAK(alias Blue Bul Hater) - 2010-11-01 05:53

    I see this as an opportunity for Stefan Watermeyer and Paul Bosch, even the Strauss chap from the Sharks....

  • Dave - 2010-11-01 06:21

    After Saturday, nobody would mind if all those totally overrated WeePee players stay home. We can really do without them.

  • IZ IT - 2010-11-01 06:25


  • Magoo - 2010-11-01 06:49

    Come on, why no mention of Straus for centre?? I really did not rate him at the beginning o the season but he had two killer games against the Bulls and then WP this weekend. Clearly a massive work-load ethic and no shortage of BMT!! Put him in a Green & Gold!!

  • Mike - 2010-11-01 07:09

    Ek dink dis ^&%$# hierdie. Ek daag PdV uit om aan die SA Rugby ondersteuners te verduidelik wat Bryan Habana gedoen het om `n plek in die span te verdien. Habana het SA baie wedstryde gekos in 2010 en het super kak gespeel deur die jaar. Sy balvaardighede bestaan nie en hy wil net aanhoudend onderskep. Mvovu, Basson en vd Heever behoort eerste keuses te hê op daai nommer 11 trui. Habana hoort nie daar nie....PUNT !!!

  • Blou - 2010-11-01 07:22

    Only crisis here is that the WP centers are chokers and that will cost the springboks alot of games CH CH CH CH - CHOKERS

  • nv - 2010-11-01 07:47

    Why don't the choose Andries Strauss. He payed brilliantly the last couple of weeks and is in form.

  • RonnieR - 2010-11-01 07:49

    Div says that it is the world cup that he is working towards next year... but we dont see any plan... any plan to rest players, any plan to introduce exciting talent or for that matter any plan on the field...we will be lucky to make the semis at this stage... the only plan he has is to try and hang on by his teeth...but good luck against Ireland!!

  • hasie - 2010-11-01 07:55

    Wat van Andries Strauss? Hy is besig om een van die beste senters te word en hy word nie eers oorweeg nie, los die has beens asb. Jean de Villiers, Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, Bryan 'Habana, Januarie (gelukkig beseer), selfs Spies kan plek maak vir Dwane Vermeulen. Al hierdie ou garde wat saamgesleep word wat niks beteken nie maak dat die Bokke verloor!!!!!!

  • Jc - 2010-11-01 07:55

    I can think of a centre,.......... Andries Strauss..........

  • Sharks Fan - 2010-11-01 08:05

    On behalf of the Sharks I'd like to apologise to P Divvy for the injuries to all those WP players . Has there been any word from Danie Gerber since his prediction for the final?

  • Wally - 2010-11-01 08:10

    What about andre Straus of the Sharks? He was far better than Jean de Villiers and Juan de Jongh!!!!!

  • Brian - 2010-11-01 08:19

    There is no problem if only PdV would open his eyes. Strauss is probably the best centre at the moment and certainly the best defender. Also Doppies le Grange and Meyer Bosman are also playing excellent rugby. It is just the the coach is either stupid, blind or totally out of touch.

  • The Raj - 2010-11-01 08:24

    I think that the Boks selectors should seriously consider Waylon Murray from the Gauteng Lions. He was in exellent form in the past few games for the Lions. He is big and strong and a very good defender.

  • Jaco - 2010-11-01 08:34

    How about a Backline of 9. Francois Hougaard 10. Elton Jantjies 11. Bjorn Basson 12. Pat Lambie 13. Jaun de Jongh 14. Lwazi Mvovo 15. Gio Aplon

  • Bugger - 2010-11-01 08:55

    Centers : Strauss ( Sharks ) and have a look at the golden lions there are player available there. Scrumhalves from the Pumas and Griques. This country has an abundance of players natural talent open our eyes and we will find them. Selectors ???

  • Richard - 2010-11-01 08:56

    How about Doppie Le Grange

  • gareth - 2010-11-01 08:58

    My first question is how in a thirty man squad do you select only 2 specialist centres? Then Andries Struass and Doppies would be my 1st selection as replacements - however feel a gamble of putting Mvovo outside centre could be hugely exciting - we need this guy in the game more - everytime he touches the ball the sharks looked more dangerous - running strongly at good angles could be extremely hard to defend especially the way de villers puts teasmates into gaps - just a thought. I want Stein a full back - his boot and physical size is what we need against a hunger irealand side.

  • Duck - 2010-11-01 08:58

    @Jaco - Please mate, rather don't comment. Andries Strauss deserves the nod. This Irish have massive centres. The problem with AD is that he is too small to make the ball and man tackle. Strauss has the potential and is in fine form.

  • AC - 2010-11-01 09:03

    Adrian Jacobs, have lost your marbles? Andries Strauss outplayed both WP stars on Saturday, oh,sorry he is not the right " ABSA Colour"

  • mike - 2010-11-01 09:05


  • Dean - 2010-11-01 09:09

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE can we not destroy another incredible talent in Lambie by playing him as a scrumhalf/flyhalf/centre/fullback utility player. He has shown the whole season, but particularly in the last two games, against 2 sides with 11 Springboks in each, that he is going to be an incredibe flyhalf. Let's not do another Gaffie/Frans/Ruaan and destroy what looks like a once in a generation type player.

  • Doring - 2010-11-01 09:39

    What crisis? the only crisis is de Villiers constantly picking hasbeens and totally out of form players. Andries Strauss sorted out those couple of show ponies from WP completely on Saturday. Habana, de Jongh and de Villiers gave away numerous penalties for holding onto the ball. Why is Adi Jacobs so special that he continues to stay in the good books of Snorre? he can't even make the bench for the Sharks!!

  • SA supporter - 2010-11-01 09:49

    Come On SA! All o f us can clearly see an ABSA appointee in Jacobs!!!!!! STRAUSS Is the Best at the moment! How come even non Sharks supporters can call things and SA Rugby Cant!!!!

  • RJ - 2010-11-01 10:55

    We now have confirmation of ABSA's meddling in rugby affairs. Can anybody please justify AD Jacobs call up ahead of Strauss. What more must the man do after his unbelievable displays in the semi & final to deservedly earn a bok call up? This is makes a mockery of the whole damn system. Strauss would be dynamit over there. Let's hope sanity prevails here & he gets a call up. This is why I have little faith or interest in sport in this country.

  • Hendrik - 2010-11-01 11:01

    @ cliff bradley, If you are such a big bulls fan, then you should know that your princess olivier is injured! IDIOT! but youve got the crisis right, PDV is the crisis! ANRIES STRAUSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!

  • JR - 2010-11-01 11:29

    Ag nee man vir weke moes ek nou lees hoe en waarom die WP gaan wen. Vandag is maandag en nie eers 'n berrig waarom die Sharks die WP as ass gesien was nie.

  • D - 2010-11-01 11:52

    STRAUSS STRAUSS STRAUSS!!!! Definately the in form centre in SA at the moment! Sorry to be losing him from the Sharks, I hope he has a fantastic season next year!

  • dubcoza - 2010-11-01 14:29

    Strauss should be a contender, no doubt. Also Watermeyer from the Bulls. He played some good rugga for the bulls during the Currie cup. Doppies is also another great centre. I am not too sure about Pat Lambie at centre, it would definitely create another Ruan Pienaar scenario.

  • Wikus - 2010-11-01 14:43

    The only reason the WP centres looked horrible was because their forwards did not give them go forward ball and when they did, they had one dimensional Willem de Waal on their inside. Taking nothing away from the form of strauss, but put him in the WP team next to Willem and with their forwards and you will see an excellent defender with nothing else. Just my 2 cents!!

  • Wikus - 2010-11-01 14:46

    The only reason the WP centres looked horrible was because their forwards did not give them go forward ball and when they did, they had one dimensional Willem de Waal on their inside. Taking nothing away from the form of strauss, but put him in the WP team next to Willem and with their forwards and you will see an excellent defender with nothing else. Just my 2 cents!!

  • Encore - 2010-11-01 17:13

    I am not so sure it was all P Div selections. There are selectors

  • Snorre - 2010-11-02 16:27

    Spies en Kanko vir senters.

  • pages:
  • 1