Brüssow in Bok riddle

2009-11-02 14:31

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – Is Heinrich Brüssow going to be a shock omission from the Springbok starting line-up for the first Test of their European tour against France next week?

Some punters will be tempted to surmise as much after the Cheetahs’ open-side flank was unexpectedly named among the “dirt-track” team, leaving several days ahead of 15 supposedly blue-chip Bok players, to play Leicester Tigers on Friday night.

It is not as though Brüssow is especially in need of game-time as he has been an integral part of the Absa Currie Cup run-in for his province, losing finalists to the Blue Bulls on Saturday.

Indeed, he was a stand-out element of the Cheetahs’ brave attempt to subdue the Bulls juggernaut.

But on Monday he was named to start for a Chiliboy Ralepelle-led Bok side (a full team plus the seven reserves were provided) to play the English Premiership champions.

Of course there is nothing, supposedly, to stop national coach Peter de Villiers shuffling his cards before the France crunch a week later – and he may be deliberately tossing a few red herrings around -- although it is tempting to assume that the 15 players whose departure has been delayed are intended as the starting XV in Toulouse.

By process of elimination, it suggests that the Bok team to play France may be the following: Zane Kirchner, JP Pietersen, Jaque Fourie, Adrian Jacobs, Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Fourie du Preez, Pierre Spies, Ryan Kankowski, Schalk Burger, Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, John Smit (capt), Bismarck du Plessis, Beast Mtawarira.

With the spectacularly versatile (in a Bok context, anyway) Ruan Pienaar named at flyhalf for the mid-weekers, Kirchner appears to have the inside lane for a recall to the senior XV as fullback.

The Bulls man started the dead-rubber third Test against the British and Irish Lions at Coca-Cola Park, when the Lions earned a convincing, consolation win.

Similarly, Sharks veteran Adi Jacobs staying behind for the time being with the “core” squad suggests he is earmarked for the inside centre vacancy created by Jean de Villiers’s departure for Ireland.

He has spent most of his Bok career at No 13 but the Bok coach is known to fancy his skills as a “creator” a little closer to the engine room.

Kankowski earning a start against France as blind-side flank, with Burger supposedly re-inheriting his beloved No 6 jersey, would be a shock move, especially as his Sharks role is consistently at No 8.

But he does bring explosive acceleration and dynamism in general play to any party: is he about to blooded in a potentially exciting new role?

Perhaps we should not jump to massive conclusions just yet, especially as any side-lining of Brüssow would rightly anger many observers; he has been one of the finds of the season, occasionally even eclipsing that legend of the fetching chore, All Blacks captain Richie McCaw.

Generally, the Bok outfit to oppose Leicester looks a decent combination, despite some rumblings about the make-up of the broad, 37-strong party named after the Currie Cup final.

There are 10 uncapped players among the match 22, with some strong positional combinations a feature.

Among these are the prop alliance of Gurthro Steenkamp and Jannie du Plessis, a wise second-row combination of the rangy Andries Bekker with more pragmatic Danie Rossouw, and a succulent midfield pairing of seasoned Wynand Olivier (many experts’ pick to replace Jean de Villiers) with the 21-year-old Western Province phenomenon Juan de Jongh.


  • Robert - 2009-11-02 14:37

    It is correct that he is there.... This is the future Springbok team, which Brussouw is part of. 2011 world cup here we are coming to defend our title, just like Mallet did in 1999!!!

  • Enough Said - 2009-11-02 14:46

    Remember Div never chose Brussouw, it was Schalk's stupidity and Rossouw's injury that gave him the opportunity. Any case with a idiot choice such as Earl Rose what did you expect. Money talks where intelligence waiver. Not interested in the end tour in any case, hope the Boks win, not on the intelligence of the Coach though. Had the same comment last week before the final, does a good team make a good coach or the other way around. My thoughts neither, it is what happens on the field that counts. Last chance hopefully for DIV's boy...early pearly. Maybe he will get the message if the SA supporters boo him like the Puke

  • The don - 2009-11-02 14:47

    It would be total madness if Div played Schalk and Jacobs ahead of Heinrich and Wynand!! Come on pick on form, not on what good they did 5 years ago!!

  • The don - 2009-11-02 14:58

    It would be total madness if Div played Schalk and Jacobs ahead of Heinrich and Wynand!! Come on pick on form, not on what good they did 5 years ago!!

  • Scaramouche - 2009-11-02 15:03

    So where is the team sheet??

  • Alan Ingram - 2009-11-02 15:12

    I will be the first to say the following: The midweek team is going to get a hiding and the Bokka are going to be beaten in France...

  • BokBal - 2009-11-02 15:13

    It would be a disgrace if he is not in the starting line-up! This laaitie is Good! Maybe they are "mannaging" him, as he is still young. He wasnt his usual outstanding self against the Bulls, but anyone, except Morne Steyn, can have a bad day at the office! I really feel bad for Ruan though, as they are messing with him. He should be on the bench for Fourie Du Preez. He is a scrumhalf and not a flyhalf.

  • NoPlanning - 2009-11-02 15:14

    This certainly is an interesting Team and i look forward to seeing how they go against a strong Tigers Team. I feel that Brussow deserves to keep his place in the Bok starting Test Team. I also think that Brussow needs at least a few days break from the game- he has been playing almost every weekend since the beginning of the year. We are going to break this yong guy down by over playing him.

  • Darrel - 2009-11-02 15:21

    @Enough Said. What kind of a Bok supporter encourages other supporters to boo a player in the green-and-gold? Why would you not rather hope that Earl Rose, no matter how good or bad you believe him to be, plays well when he's in the Bok jersey? The answer, obviously, is that you are not a Bok supporter, you are a supporter of a Bok team that happens to agree with your views of who should be in the team. How I wish you were Australian.

  • Bloues - 2009-11-02 15:22

    Wat moet Wynand nou nog doen om in die begin span te wees.

  • Harry - 2009-11-02 15:40

    I am an All Black supporter, but believe this team could go places, if they play the right people. As usual, our Happy Coach is relying on Guys who should have stopped playing long ago. I hope they beat the Poms, Etc.

  • @Bloues - 2009-11-02 15:41

    Rugby speel ou maat....nie in die spieel kyk die hele dag nie.........

  • Madness - 2009-11-02 15:49

    Bloues, hy moet dalk begin rugby speel.

  • Mossel Bay - 2009-11-02 15:49

    @Darrel. Good Comment.

  • Big Jim - 2009-11-02 15:50

    Why not have to Fetchers on the Pitch? Let Brussouw(#6) play only the Fetching role with Schalk(#7) playing both Fetcher and Carrier, Spies(#8) being the other Carrier?

  • tom - 2009-11-02 15:50

    I have had my doubts about Div but must admit that he has called it right on many occassions including the Bulls to take the Currie Cup when the odds were against him. He is severely under pressure as he stands to lose a lot achieved when he goes up against Ireland and France in particular , who will most definitely come out firing against us. I personally would have rested players that were out on the park at their best ( Wynand , Danie , Gurthro and most certainly Heinrich ) in the last two weeks and given the new boys a chance to prove them worthy of selection. Surely our "second best" players with loads of experience should easily beat a English Club side. Pieter we wish you and the boys good luck and hope you are able to remain on top as the springbok emblem carries the outstanding Pride of our nation.

  • Mclovin - 2009-11-02 15:51

    PDIV is a sly old fox. I'm sure this is only a clever tactic by him to confuse the French. Mark my words, Brussow and Ruan Pienaar will be in the starting line-up. PDIV has managed to trick the everybody. Just wait and see.

  • Fisherman - 2009-11-02 15:52

    Brussouw is overrated anyway,he's still learning from Schalk.Schalk is miles ahead of Brussouw in terms of skill and experience,play Schalk,he's better and respected worldwide,he's no former IRB player of the year for nothing.

  • Rod - 2009-11-02 15:54

    Bloues...he (W Olivier) shouldn't even be in the full squad, definitely not international standard, so overrated. I would rather see Jacobs in the centre postion.

  • Luke@Bloues - 2009-11-02 15:56

    He should become a decent rugby player.

  • MACK THE FAN - 2009-11-02 16:12

    Ireland will be much harder to beat than the Frenchman ,thus keep him loose and fit ,but away from potential straining.Unleash him on the Irish. -Enough said ,you make a very valid statement.Dear Lord ,why the Elastoplast man ?Its a rugby tour ,not a woman bashing !

  • Enough Said - 2009-11-02 16:21

    @Darrel. If you know the standard of a Bok supporter you would understand my standard. I am stating facts and please don't insult me and compare me with Australians, even they would not have picked Earl Rose. Another fact, it is not a springbok jersey they will be wearing, it is only test caps that count. He is not a Springbok and his choice does not make sense all. It is for me like chosing our ANCYL president as diplomat to the UN. You just don't know what he is going to do. Keep to the issue of Brussouw and go get the dvd of the game where Brussouw got his chance. At least they are not asking the coach to speak to the media, heaven forbid, what excuse will he give, maybe he coached him at primary school. I did not say he must be booed, I said will they get the message. So Player 23 is just a commercial foefie. It does not mean anything if we vent our fustrations. Wake up and smell the roses (no pun intended) Something smells alright

  • Beefcake - 2009-11-02 16:24

    Jacobs over Olivier! What a joke! Jacobs has got to be just as useless as Earl the Pearl.

  • william @fisherman & Darrel - 2009-11-02 16:32

    maybe you know about fish or are able to bshift other guys when talking about what you had on your line...if you knew anything about rugby you would know that Brussouw was a cut above any other flank in SA..fetcher ,runner or tackler if you like...maybe not line out ... His open play was great and the fact that he made 2 final passes for the try scorer says a lot as well. Hope the media helps div in choosing the correct team again. And Darrel if a player is chosen with criterea other than merit,it means he is macking a mockery of the value of the other guys in the team and the values of the Jersey itself and also of the supporters

  • rbgguy - 2009-11-02 16:32

    This is all BS speculation. He will be in the run on side in the test matches.

  • deirdre - 2009-11-02 16:48

    and what about Chilliboy who has been injured for most of the season......?

  • HVR - 2009-11-02 16:54

    @Big Jim. I'm glad somebody pointed out the obvious. That is probably the best fetcher/carrier combo ever.

  • Jonny - 2009-11-02 17:03

    @Fisherman. Burger respected worldwide? I think not. In his 50th test, 30 seconds in the game puts his finger in another blokes eye? 14 men for the next 10 minutes. I doubt if his own teammates respect him.

  • currie cup champ - 2009-11-02 17:04

    @luke, madness and @bloues, Jaque and wynand are by miles the best centres in SA rugby now that jean has gone. Adi, juan and co. dont even appear in the same league, so catch a wakeup u provincilly blinkered types

  • Lou - 2009-11-02 19:22

    If we have to take what Enough Said had said at face value then the Bulls coach had nothing to ddo with their success. Why then the uproar when Heyneke Meyer did not replace Jake White? If the coach has little to do with it, why even bother having one. People who still doubt P. Divvy are plonkers. He does have the luxury of the best pool of players to choose from and he is yet to mess it up. To give P. Divvy the chance was a gamble but SA Rugby had a window of opportunity to exploit and the gamble paid off. In exactly the same way P. Divvy has a window of opportunity to experiment with a look to the future. The Proteas can only dream of having this luxury; Soccer missed their chance to take a local coach. They were not brave enough.

  • Jacques - 2009-11-02 20:34

    How good is Wynand Olivier? Do any of you remember how the WP wing Aplon sailed past him to score for Province in the semi's. Wynand is not Bok material.

  • WP man - 2009-11-02 22:01

    Kankowski at 7!? Please guys Potgieter is 10x better than Kanko.Schalk is THE MAN and Brussow is n dwarf.

  • Jack HB - 2009-11-02 23:05

    As long as there will be SA Rugby Squad selection,there will be the faithless critics.Selection of any kind of squad is a thankless task.It is not for the narrowminded exclusive group or individual.Take pride in the sport the jearseys and the wearers.This sport is for TEAM PLAYERS of which we are all part of.Enjoy the game and how it is played.You may one day grow up to think like a SELECTOR and not a CRITIC.You may find out that the game of rugby is enjoyable and no place for Whingers.Enjoy the tour guys....

  • Velle@WPman - 2009-11-02 23:36

    At least Brussow have the same test experience as Schalk. Schalk spend 70% of his test career in the bin.

  • Craig - 2009-11-02 23:44

    Brussouw @ 6; Burger @7; Kankowski @8 Spies in hospital and not available...

  • Rossman - 2009-11-03 00:07

    Just heard. Spies is out injured and Deysel is in. Problem. Big problem. The combination of Schalk, Brussow and Spies was brilliant in the last Tri-Nations match against the All Blacks. We need somebody around at scrumtime to stop those fiery French from breaking away. Deysel is strong and carries the ball well, but he is slow. I agree, Schalk should have played in the midweek team as he did not play alot of rugby this season. I surely hope Brussow and W. Olivier makes it to the test team for Saturday. If Olivier puts the same effort in his game as he does with his hair, then the French, Irish and Italians are in for some exciting running rugby. He is by far better than Jacobs. I also agree with Dewald Potgiter for captain. I see this guy captaining the Springboks to a World Cup victory. But thats just me. I am still not too sure about young Early PrimRose. Something definitely smells and not of roses either. More like "regte 2 week oue Kaapse snoek". But I still think we can beat the tIgers this weekend.

  • halftyd - 2009-11-03 07:19

    WP MAn, I dunno what games you have been watching lately?? Brussouw will become one of the greatest boks EVER, it is a matter of time. Kanko is streets ahead of Potgieter who is still lerning the trade and in my opinion another boring BB flanker with no ball skills... Kanko on the other hand can easily play centre if he wanted. And Schalk... What a man, but frustrating to always be 6 pts down once he steps on the pitch :(

  • AJ @ WP Man - 2009-11-03 07:24

    OK, we get that you are a proud supporter of your team and rightly so, but dont use that as an excuse for posting rubbish. I'd go so far as to say it is misuse of the forum and makes you sound simplistic. Whilst the latter problem is yours alone, the first affects everyone else looking for some inkling of intelligent debate.

  • Frans Badenhorst - 2009-11-03 07:38

    Just stop the boat for a while and compare apples with apples. Brussouw and Schalk have got totally different skills and approaches to the game of rugby. One a true blooded fetcher and the other more a combination of an open and blindsider. We can say what we like we still got a nagging problem up front. John is no nr 3 and Beast is battling with the scrummaging part.

  • Peter - 2009-11-03 07:58

    The A-Boks have props who cannot scrum and flanks who cannot fetch.So they are planning to play Rugby without the ball.Maybe the plan is to see if the centre's can tackle,because there is going to be a lot of that if you don't have the ball. Interesting new game plan.

  • chameleon - 2009-11-03 12:39

    to wp man, brussow is indeed a dwarf which is why we like him: - the bigger they are, the harder they fall - low centre of gravity makes him hard to put down - the distance between being on the ground and on his feet is less, so he recovers fastest after going to ground - it is easy to underestimate him (at your own peril of course) so, your point is? at least you and i can skree vir weepee together again next year once pukey is out of that team.

  • Danie - 2009-11-03 16:43

    At the end of the match between the British & Irish Lions and the Emerging Boks, The Emerging Boks captain, Dewald Potgieter, pleaded for more game time for the Emerging Boks. Yes, ten of them are getting it against Leicester & Saracens. That's three games in a year! That's NOT good enough! Two suggestions: (a) the incoming tours should each play a game against the EB ( Please let one of the games be in Port Elizabeth); (b) also send the EB on a month/six week tour of , say, South America to play against Argentina 'B'; Uruguay; Paraguay; Chile (I am told the Bahamas have a very good team). This would build team spirit as the players get to know one another.

  • riaan - 2009-11-04 17:47

    Daar is 8 beter hakers as chilliboy. Hy kan nie eers die bulle se span haal nie.Dit is maar politiek want hulle wil hom Smit se opvolger maak.

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