Cape Town - Two former Springbok wingers are puzzled by the fact that Ruan Combrinck is not part of the team's Rugby Championship squad.
The Lions wing was sidelined with a shoulder injury for large parts of Super Rugby, but returned with a bang towards the latter part as the men from Johannesburg reached the final.
He was however not picked for the Springboks’ Rugby Championship squad and is currently playing club rugby in Japan.
The Springboks, meanwhile, are experiencing problems out wide with Raymond Rhule in particular struggling on defence.
Pieter Hendriks, who played 14 Tests for the Springboks between 1992 and 1996, feels Combrinck is a much better player than Rhule.
"I definitely feel Combrinck should have been in the team. Raymond Rhule simply missed too many tackles," Hendriks said on SuperSport's Afrikaans programme, SuperRugby, on Monday night.
"I don’t think there’s something wrong with his tackle technique. You get players who are good defenders and then you get guys who are good attacking players. And then you get a guy that can do both. I think Raymond is a very good player, but I think a weakness in his armoury is that man-on-man tackle. I just don’t think he’s up to standard in that regard. I’m very sorry to say it but someone like Combrinck should definitely come in there. That’s just my opinion."
Carel du Plessis, the legendary former Springbok wing who also coached the team in 1997, agreed that Combrinck should be included.
In an interview with Netwerk24, Du Plessis said: "Someone like Ruan Combrinck can be roped in again. I don’t know why he was left out, maybe because he was out of action for a period. But he is very competitive, he is strong and has good acceleration. He can kick with both feet, which almost makes him an additional fullback. I would give him a chance."
Springbok coach Allister Coetzee on Wednesday included three new members to his squad - experienced flank Francois Louw and the uncapped Sharks duo of S’busiso Nkosi (wing) and Louis Schreuder (scrumhalf).
There was however no room for Combrinck.
The Springbok squad will get together on Sunday in Bloemfontein, where they will be based for the build-up to the Test against the Wallabies at the Toyota Stadium on September 30.
The Boks tackle the All Blacks a week later, on October 7, at Newlands in Cape Town in their final match of the campaign.
30-man Springbok squad for the Tests in Bloemfontein and Cape Town:
Forwards (17 players):
Uzair Cassiem, Lood de Jager, Ruan Dreyer, Dan du Preez, Jean-Luc du Preez, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth (captain), Steven Kitshoff, Siya Kolisi, Francois Louw, Wilco Louw, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Franco Mostert, Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Chiliboy Ralepelle
Backs (13 players):
Andries Coetzee, Ross Cronje, Damian de Allende, Elton Jantjies, Jesse Kriel, Dillyn Leyds, Rudy Paige, Handre Pollard, Raymond Rhule, Louis Schreuder, Jan Serfontein, Courtnall Skosan, S’busiso Nkosi