Div axes Steyn, Big Joe

2010-06-07 13:44

Cape Town - Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has omitted Frans Steyn and Joe van Niekerk from his 27-man squad for the one-off Test against France at Newlands on Saturday.

Also dropped after the Boks' 34-31 win over Wales was prop CJ van der Linde and centre Meyer Bosman.

GALLERY: Wales v Springboks

Wing Odwa Ndungane, who picked up a rib injury while in the process of scoring a try on Saturday, will undergo further scans to assess the damage, but won’t be considered for the game against France.

Andries Bekker, who returned to SA ahead of the Cardiff Test, has been given the weekend off, but may be fit to play against Italy the following week.

Those returning to the squad include Jean de Villiers, Wynand Olivier, Butch James, Morne Steyn, Bryan Habana, Pierre Spies, Schalk Burger, Bakkies Botha, Gurthro Steenkamp and Flip van der Merwe.

Botha, who is still under suspension, won't be available for the France Test.

Bulls lock Van der Merwe is the only uncapped player in the squad.

The squad excludes scrumhalf Fourie du Preez, who is to have shoulder surgery on Tuesday.

"Fourie is very important to us but so is his welfare and the time is right for him to sort this injury out," said coach Peter de Villiers. "We will miss him but it is important that he is available and fit at the world cup next year. We have adequate cover in the scrumhalf position too.”

On the opposition, De Villiers said: "France are the Six Nations champions and they beat us last year so this is a big match. We know they can be dangerous and this will be a tough, tough Test.”

Explaining the omission of Steyn, De Villiers said that he was one of several overseas based players who were off the pace in the win over Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

“If you go and watch the game again, and really watch it closely, you will see that most of the overseas based players were off the pace in that game. I have been criticised for not selecting overseas based players, but this match showed me that the guys have to be playing Super 14,” said De Villiers.

“In Frans’ case I met with him (before the Cardiff Test) and we came to an agreement that I would not choose him beyond this game. I believe Frans was the best in the world last year, but he wasn’t the best in the world in Cardiff, and that is a problem. I don’t know what he is going to do to get back there. Playing overseas is not the answer.”

De Villiers said that critics were bound to question him about Jean de Villiers, who was included in the group on Monday after passing a medical examination on his injured A/C joint, but he said the Bok centre had always played open cards with him from the time he left for Munster last year.

“I always knew that Jean would be back by June 1 this year, he phoned me before he left and told me he knew he was making a big mistake and wanted to come back as soon as possible,” said De Villiers.

The coach included No 8 Van Niekerk in the group that he felt were off the pace because they did not play Super 14 rugby.

However, apart from selecting De Villiers, he has also retained overseas based tighthead BJ Botha and Bath flyhalf Butch James, who was initially selected at centre for the match against Wales but was ruled out due to a contractual dispute. The Bok coach’s reasons for retaining James appeared fair.

“I feel that after offering him the chance to play against Wales it would be unfair to leave him out now because his chances were dashed by the dispute involving his club. As for where I will choose him when I do use him, I am not sure. It could be at flyhalf or it could be at centre.”

De Villiers said that James earns his place ahead of someone like inform Stormers flyhalf Peter Grant on the grounds that he inspires the players around him. James was the Springbok flyhalf when South Africa won the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

“There are seven other players who just love having Butch around and they feel they play better when he is. This is not an individual sport, it is a team sport, and we must make the selections that help the team cause.”

De Villiers added that Bekker’s omission was purely injury related and had nothing to do with the personal problems the player is experiencing which were spotlighted in some media at the weekend.

“When Andries’ injury was diagnosed we did not know about the other thing that has happened, we have not discussed that,” said De Villiers.

The match 22 to face France at Newlands on Saturday will be named on Tuesday.

Springbok squad:

Zane Kirchner, Gio Aplon, Bjorn Basson, Jaque Fourie, Jean de Villiers, Wynand Olivier, Juan de Jongh, Butch James, Morne Steyn, Bryan Habana, Ruan Pienaar, Ricky Januarie, Pierre Spies, Ryan Kankowski, Dewald Potgieter, Francois Louw, Schalk Burger, Bakkies Botha, Flip van der Merwe, Danie Rossouw, Victor Matfield, Alistair Hargreaves, BJ Botha, John Smit (captain), Chiliboy Ralepelle, Jannie du Plessis, Gurthro Steenkamp


  • Mark - 2010-06-07 13:51

    No Peter Grant???

  • brad k - 2010-06-07 13:52

    Bummer bout Frans but good squad none-the-less.

  • glad - 2010-06-07 13:55

    Sad about Joe. Nice to see him in full flight again. He however doesn't stand a chance against all the talent we have in the Bulls and Stormers squads alone. Glad about Steyn. I though he had a poor game and just reconfirmed my believes that he is either a match winner or loser. So playing him, is always a gamble. I find him arrogant and have a very over rated idea about his abilities. Passing the ball, is still not high up in his tool set. In all, good move Div.

  • BOKVIRSPORTS - 2010-06-07 13:55

    Good on you Div.....Remove all the overseas based players, cause there is so much rugby talent in our country. I dont think Kirchner is a good pick, would have rather liked to see Aplon on fullback

  • viewer - 2010-06-07 13:56

    What! Bosman was playing?!

  • Snoek - 2010-06-07 13:57

    So , no Steyn but place for Butch James ??? Here we go again !!

  • BOK fan - 2010-06-07 13:57

    Other than the omission of our best Full Back, it's a great squad. Sad to see that Francois has been left out as I think we will really need him in NZ next year for RWC '11 Go bokke.

  • Amelam - 2010-06-07 13:58

    Ralepelle? What must this guy still do to be omitted. If it is a quota issue, let us not forget that the Bulls select Bandise Maku ahead of him. Maku is a better choice if we insist to contue with the quota system.

  • bulawayo-based-bok - 2010-06-07 13:58

    weakest springbok side i've seen for a while, especially considering we should have the best depth in world rugby!.....again!...CHILLIBOY F@K OFF,NOBODY LIKES YOU!! what about Jean deysel?? Allistair Hargreaves?? Juandre Kruger has become a world class lock! where is Tiaan Liebenberg or Schalk Brits? what about Mvovo/Killian/Van den heever?? i suppose we still have the players to beat France but i don't want to see Chiiliboy and Hargreaves coming off that bench!

  • Altyd Verkeerd - 2010-06-07 14:00

    Why 27? I hope that those overseas players who dropped their S 14 teams, will be last in the row for a place. We can win without them

  • Bue bull lover - 2010-06-07 14:01

    Butch James,.........realy what is the point???? Anyone?

  • Chris Cape - 2010-06-07 14:01

    Why on earth would he drop Frans Steyn - it is time for PDivy to realise Frans is the worlds best inside centre and to give him a proper run in that positino.

  • Paul Stomaaz - 2010-06-07 14:02

    Seriously, Dumpling January gets the nod at number 9.... the only thing slower than him on Saturday... was... was... was... well nothing really, we need a #9 who can clean out fast....

  • Snake - 2010-06-07 14:02

    4 Bulls locks in the Springbok team! Amazing.

  • Blou Bul - 2010-06-07 14:03

    Clearly the kiss and make up with FS was all a publicity stunt. You're playing a dangerous game PdV! If this youngster gets g@#$%l of your antics we'll lose him forever. Springbok coaches are like Pick and Pay against every township fence. World class full backs are something else!!!

  • What the - 2010-06-07 14:04

    What is Butch James doing there he always runs 4 or 5 meters across the field not creating space for the wings, is Div not not building for the World Cup??? Is he the second best No 10 available? Morne Steyn needs a Burger Geldenhuis like Naas had to protect him other wise we are in deep S^%T !!!

  • CapeBORNandRAISED - 2010-06-07 14:04

    Okay so i am a stormers supporter and I REALLY dont want Ricky Januarie there. how does someone who plays bench the entire super 14 get picked? dont know about Zane and Chiliboy either. the rest im okay with, glad to see that Juan got incl, think he has great potential. but oh well we will see what the team looks like tmrw. Go BOKKE!!!

  • Sasha - 2010-06-07 14:04

    What in all ... is Chilliboy doing there? He's not there on merit, and if it's only for his skin colour, Maku would've been a better choice!

  • CJ - 2010-06-07 14:06

    Why Gio Aplon, Bjorn Basson, Juan de Jongh, but not Francois Steyn? Four centres, but only three wings and one full back? Five locks? Doesnt make any sense to me?

  • Gaz - 2010-06-07 14:06

    Not sure if it's a good idea to leave out Frans Steyn, mind you Kirchner is playing well....but Wow we have a powerfull team this year. France are gonna come at us stronger than Wales did. Hope we have enough time to prepare as a unit. Go Bokke!!!

  • Trooper - 2010-06-07 14:07

    Hoe kies jy n springbok span sonder Frans...Ons weet mos hou ou Zane onder sy eerste hoe bal gevaar het saterdag en dat daat n drie gekom het agv dit. Pietertjie los jou issues met Frans.. Jy kies jou springbok span om 3 manne Frans, Morne en Fourie, binnekort verloor ons 2 van hulle...

  • Steve - 2010-06-07 14:07

    Are you serious...did I miss something here! No disrespect to Zane Kirchner - steady super 14 player but wanting a little at international level - makes up the numbers. There is no replacement for an even 'slightly rusty' Steyn evident over the week-end. Hope this is a temporary omission because there is no room for errors or bystanders against stronger opposition.

  • andre - 2010-06-07 14:08

    O yes, i must say Kirchner outplayed Steyn in all areas... well done DIV...

  • Benny - 2010-06-07 14:09

    He axes Steyn and clutches on to Kirchner? - PdV is running true to form

  • Bok - 2010-06-07 14:09

    Chilliboy! This is a joke! Steyn wil always be in my team and any other team in the world! Still a good team! GO BOKKE!!!

  • BALSAK(alias Blue Bul Hater) - 2010-06-07 14:09

    Why did he select Zane, Butch, Kankowski, ChielieBoy and John Smith?? Where is Duanne Vermeulen, Gary Botha, Tiaan Liebenberg, Joe Petersen and Werner Kruger???

  • Jake White - 2010-06-07 14:10

    Big Joe = Big Zero Kirchner better than Steyn?...eish. Hargreaves?Hu?There are better locks playing schoolboy rugby Chiliboy?Hu...what about Gary Botha/Tiaan Liebenberg/Strauss/Brits. 15.Steyn 14.Aplon 13.Fourie 12.De Jongh 11.Habana 10.Steyn.9.Pienaar 8.Spies 7.Potgieter 6.Burger 5.Matfield 4.Rossouw 3.BJ.2Smit 1.Guthro

  • Rugby 101 - 2010-06-07 14:10

    Steyn did much better that Kirschner...............Juan de jongh had a very good game and deserves his plays in the squad.But there is no justification for Kirchnerin there...................And can someone please expain how the hell Guthro makes the squad...He can't scrum........He is slow and down right useless................

  • Anom - 2010-06-07 14:11

    How can they leave Steyn out but include Butch? Steyn brings more to the side than Butch does. Steyn's kicking, versatility and age surely count in his favour. Sometimes you have to wonder what goes on in the heads of our esteemed selectors.

  • Steve - 2010-06-07 14:11

    Are you serious...did I miss something here! No disrespect to Zane Kirchner - steady super 14 player but wanting a little at international level - makes up the numbers. There is no replacement for an even 'slightly rusty' Steyn evident over the week-end. Hope this is a temporary omission because there is no room for errors or bystanders against stronger opposition.

  • Marius - 2010-06-07 14:11

    The squad looks good. I am worried about the scrum half position. Ricky is very slow. Juan De Jong did a good job on Saturday and I think he and Jaque Fourie will be a good combination. We have much better guys to play at number 2 than Chiliboy. I like Pieter de Villiers but what is it that he cannot realize that Chiliboy is not on standard.

  • henk - 2010-06-07 14:12

    nee jitte coach, wat hou julle aan om te neuk met butch james!!?? komman man, ons het die talent IN suid afrika wat IN suid afrika speel. los daai slagter want hy beteken niks vir ons nie.

  • Rugby_Oke - 2010-06-07 14:12

    Fullback??? Please not Kirchner. He almost cost us the test with his 'brilliant' drop under the high ball. If Ruan starts at fullback - it's ok. But that means Ricky is scrumhalf. I reckon we need Steyn.

  • Andre Botha - 2010-06-07 14:12

    Surely Steyn is the no:1 option at full back! The fact that he was dropped implicate that things between him and the coach is not 100%. If thats the case what a sad day for rugby!

  • Rugby 101 - 2010-06-07 14:12

    i will put my money on the fact that the ref is going to blow us out of the park for illegal scrumage with Guthro there

  • AD - 2010-06-07 14:13

    Why only 1 tight head prop?

  • Dronkie - 2010-06-07 14:13

    Nou verstaan ek nie soo mooi nie?

  • Kiwibok - 2010-06-07 14:13

    Has Frans Steyn been dropped because het faxed snorre? If it is then that is a disgrace. Based on what Zane did when he can on (comforatble catch which he knocked on), he should be one who should have been axed.

  • Skipper - 2010-06-07 14:14

    Can't understand why Steyn was overlooked. In my opinion he is much better than Kirchner. I really, really do not know how PdV's mind works! Maybe he's a politician disguised as a rugby coach?

  • Gert - 2010-06-07 14:15

    Maybe they are not axed, but been left out for a reason. Steyn can play any position in the back. A bit of a mystery. Maybe there is more to the story then "Div axes Steyn, Big Joe"

  • Bok Fan - 2010-06-07 14:15

    I think both Frans and Joe should be given another chance !!! They are both excellent players. Chilliboy Ralepelle has no place in the Bok team. He can't even make the Bulls 1st Team. Juan De Jongh is starting to play Wynand Olivier out of the National Side. I don't think he will even make the World Cup Team Next Year !

  • Glasnost - 2010-06-07 14:16

    Francois Steyn is 10kg over weight and should be dropped How can de Villiers pick Chiliboy--if he must pick a black then pick Maku Don't pick Bakkies--with his praying and dirty play he is an embarrassment--Flip vd Merwe is the way to go B J scrums illegally

  • sawriter - 2010-06-07 14:16

    Thank goodness "old squeaky" has the sense to realise that Frans Steyn is not worth to be called a rugby player.

  • MB - 2010-06-07 14:16

    We have such good hookers that performed week in and week out in the S14 - why pick someone that can't even shine in the Vodacom Cup? What must Brits,Liebenberg, and Johan Botha think?

  • Tonteldoos - 2010-06-07 14:17

    Steyn is by far the best fullback in world rugby at the moment. The wheels came off the bok machine on Saturday after Steyn was taken off the field. I hope PdV is only holding him back until the TriNations start, otherwise it simply would be the biggest waste of talent in the rugby world.

  • wade - 2010-06-07 14:18

    Hougaard should be reserve scrummie to Pienaar,not Januarie. What happens if Smit is forced off the field in the first 10 minutes on Saturday? Can you imagine Ralapelle on for an hour? If the man had any self respect he would withdraw himself from the squad,as he is clearly a token black african and does the rest of the non-whites in the team a disservice as they are at least capable of performing to an acceptable level. Also,the lock stocks must be depleted for Hargreaves to be there.What has he done to deserve a place? Frans Steyn too is a legend in the making and Kirchner isn't fit to lace Steyns boots. SA fans need to think before they hand over all that ticket money.We are played for fools!

  • Michael Bowery - 2010-06-07 14:18

    I had a brief vision of seeing Frans cut down on wind resistance by turning out as a `skinhead.' :) I suppose that's too much to hope for?

  • Chris - 2010-06-07 14:18

    Where is Gary Botha/Tiaan Liebenberg. How on earth can Div justify selecting Chiliboy ahead of them. Both had brilliant seasons, Chilli did not even play super 14. Can anyone say Quota. I have the same issue with Januarie, not even close to the top three scrumhalves in the super 14. Hargreaves has also done nothing to impress, very lucky to be in the squad ahead off someone like Sykes. I must say I feel for Peter Grant, I would not be suprised if he signs with the Force now as he is obvoiusly not in Pdivvy's plans. I really hope Olivier gets a proper chance in the starting lineup, he has earned it.

  • George - 2010-06-07 14:19

    Why the hell will you drop the best fullback in world rugby Frans Steyn.You forgot to leave out Januarie.

  • PdV is a Moron - 2010-06-07 14:19

    Why the hell drop Frans Steyn... Surely he is the most inform Fullback in the Country... come on Zane has already proven that he does not have the BMT... How hard is it to catch a ball, almost cost us the game...