Battle for Bok No 10 narrows

2011-06-21 10:25

Gavin Rich - SuperSport

Johannesburg - The omission of Peter Grant from the 50-man Springbok World Cup preliminary squad announced on Monday has narrowed the debate over who will be filling the role of pivot in New Zealand in August and September.

Grant, the DHL Stormers flyhalf, was a favourite of many critics when he was starring for the Cape side in their winning run at the start of the competition. At the end of March, several Springbok barometres included the name of the Maritzburg College old boy.

However, the solid form displayed by another former Maritzburg College star, Butch James, since his arrival back from the United Kingdom, coupled with the resurgence of the other Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjes, and the X-factor offered by Patrick Lambie as a utility back, have now pushed Grant out of the equation.

The 50-man group was drawn up to satisfy IRB requirements for a preliminary squad as the date of the kick-off to the 2011 World Cup draws nearer. Springbok coach Peter de Villiers says that players can come from outside of the group, which is true for this list is by no means definitive, but it would appear unlikely that Grant will be in the 30-man World Cup squad if he cannot make a group of 50.

Of course, Grant’s long period of absence from the field due to injury did not help his cause. It might well have been a case of out of sight and out of mind for the national selectors, for apart from a second half walkabout in a comeback match against the Chiefs last month, Grant has mostly been solid in the Bok No10 when he has played.

Grant played for the Boks in the Tri-Nations in the build-up to the last World Cup, and was also part of the first group of players called up at the beginning of De Villiers’ reign as coach. However Grant never got to start in 2008 and then dropped out of the squad. Ironically James was not part of the initial De Villiers plans but was called up at the behest of senior players and played most of the 2008 Tri-Nations before he essentially exiled himself by refusing to move back to South Africa from Bath.

James is now the front-runner for the Bok No10 jersey at the World Cup, a position he filled at the last World Cup in France in 2007. It is understood that all James needed to do was prove that he could keep pace with the southern hemisphere game, which he has done since his return to Super Rugby with the Lions.

James’ ability to be a strong presence at the gainline and thus bring the players around him into the game on attack is what gives him the advantage over the incumbent, Morne Steyn, and his experience edges out other players such as Lambie and Jantjes. Another squad member, Ruan Pienaar, has international flyhalf experience but is unlikely to be played away from his preferred position of scrumhalf.

Grant still has a chance to impress the selectors in the play-off stages of the Super Rugby season, and told a Sunday newspaper that he thought he would have a chance of forcing his way into the national squad if the Stormers win the competition. He made an assured return to Super Rugby for the Stormers against the Cheetahs this past weekend, contributing 24 of the 44 points the Stormers scored in their 44-34 win.

Grant was not the only surprise omission from the squad, which includes two new overseas based players in the form of BJ Botha and Johann Muller, both based in Ireland and both veterans of the 2007 World Cup triumph.

In Durban for instance eyebrows will surely be raised at the non-appearance of Keegan Daniel on the list. The Sharks flanker has been in excellent form of late and made a significant difference to the Sharks’ performance against the Bulls at Loftus at the weekend in comparison to their recent clash in Durban, when he was absent due to suspension.

Duane Vermeulen has been included in the group even though he will be out for six to nine weeks due as he recuperates from a knee operation that he will undergo on Tuesday.

Players who missed out on the recent Durban planning session, when a considerably smaller group was called up, but who are part of the expanded squad include Alistair Hargreaves. Ricky Januarie, Ryan Kankowski, Zane Kirchner, Francois Louw and Deon Stegmann.

It needs to be noted that this is no more than a list of names, and the group named is not actually gathering for a camp. However the Bok coach has confirmed that the Tri-Nations squad will be named from this group.

Preliminary World Cup squad:

John Smit (captain), Victor Matfield (vice-captain), Willem Alberts, Gio Aplon, Andries Bekker, Bjorn Basson, Bakkies Botha, BJ Botha, Heinrich Brussow, Schalk Burger, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Fourie du Preez, Jaque Fourie, Dean Greyling, Bryan Habana, Alistair Hargreaves, Francois Hougaard, Adi Jacobs, Butch James, Elton Jantjies, Ricky Januarie, Ashley Johnson, Ryan Kankowski, Zane Kirchner, Werner Kruger, Pat Lambie, Francois Louw, Tendai Mtawarira, Johann Muller, Lwazi Mvovo, Odwa Ndungane, Wynand Olivier, Coenie Oosthuizen, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Danie Rossouw, Juan Smith, Pierre Spies, Gurthro Steenkamp, Deon Stegmann, Francois Steyn, Morne Steyn, Adriaan Strauss, Flip van der Merwe, Duane Vermeulen.


  • JustinD - 2011-06-21 10:32

    Disgusting that Elton and Butch cracks the nod instead of Peter Grant.....

      Gazza69 - 2011-06-21 10:53

      Exactly right Justin.......Grant is in great form, even after his injury.

      jontheb - 2011-06-21 10:57

      Elton is a rising star, but it is too soon for him. Butch is a walking yellow card, which he proved during his last super rugby match. Pieter is trying to use Jake's old squad and it's going to be a disaster...

      Gorilla - 2011-06-21 11:04

      Crazy. Grant is the top number 10 in SA, in terms of kicking he is well ahead of anyone in SA. Steyn is OK, but what if Steyn is crocked?

      Shazred - 2011-06-21 11:22

      Butch is also in great shape, and with a good experienced team to back him, he will do wonders...

      420 - 2011-06-21 11:26

      No its disgusting the Elton cracks the nod ahead of Grant. James deserves his place, love him or hate him he offers more then Morne.

      Frans Smith - 2011-06-21 11:54

      jontheb - my friend, you have summed it up 100%. No previous world cup champion side have won it twice in a row with the same squad - many have tried - AB'S after 1987 tried with most of the same players in 1991, Martin Johnson 2003 squad, tried it with most of the same players in 2007, Australia 1991 (remember david campo player of the tournament - 1995, he was the disaster for australia) etc. You have to build a team over 4 years, gaining experience over the 4 years and then relying on a few special performances from individual players, normally new youngh talent that has been developed - not old talent used up in the previous world cup.

      Frik - 2011-06-21 11:54

      Grant sal nie eers AHS se 0/15g span haal nie... Goeie besluit

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-06-21 12:00

      I guarantee all of you that Butch James will start at 10 for the Boks in the 'big games' at the World Cup. I feel sorry for Peter Grant, and many other players who WILL have been, and will STILL be excluded from the Bok squad. The facts are though - that we all knew who P Divvy's run on team would be 2 years ago already - promises made and all that cr@p. There will be NO shocks, surprises or rewarding players for form - there will only be the 22 chaps who knew they were going to be selected years ago. So may advice to ALL players who have been ignored - stick it out chaps, there will be a new national coach after the WC - and a NEW broom sweeps clean.

      Kaapie - 2011-06-21 12:13

      No point in this debate.. Morne Steyn will get the nod. Lambie will be back up and so will Butch. Time will tell

      flowing river - 2011-06-21 12:18


      VaniKaap - 2011-06-21 12:24

      Ag Please, did all of you forgot how bad Grant played in NZ and then suddenly got an "injury"! This bloke can't handle pressure. He can't kick the ball far enough to keep the Boks on the front foot and he is to slow and suspect on defence. The best Flyhalf in the country is by far Morne Steyn and the fact that him and Du Preez are use to each other makes it even better. Butch will be a good backup from the bench as he can play Center as well.

      VaniKaap - 2011-06-21 12:29

      PS>> Duvenhage is a better flyhalf than Grant!

      Loodpil - 2011-06-21 12:55

      World Cup knockout matches are close affairs, and you want to be sure you take every point on offer. Grant's kicking average is the best in the Super15 (close to 85%). How can that not count ? Lambie and Steyn are at 79%. Surely Steyn is in the squad for his kicking ability (which the facts state is now worse than Grant's). Not sure Steyn is better in defence either. If Grant was bad at defense, the Stormers would not have the best defence stats of the Super15.

      Pooh-Bear - 2011-06-21 13:52

      @Frans Smith - that may be true, but at the same time nobody has defended the WC with a new squad either! So I'm not sure how strong your argument is. The question to be asked is, "What is the best team to defend the Cup - is it those with the most experience, those who are showing form, up-and-coming talented youngsters, or some combination of the above?"

      InternetMan - 2011-06-21 14:30

      I think its irrelevant as we have the God Of Rugby himself available for the number 10 slot. Patrick Lambie.

      shucky - 2011-06-21 14:43

      Loodpil.. Grant's average might be higher than Steyn and Lambie only because he has played less games, Michalak has 100% average so does that make him better, he has only played one game.. Steyn is the highest points scorer at the moment because he has played more games than grantt so either stats won;t really help..

      Loodpil - 2011-06-21 16:30

      Shucky... I agree, stats can be dubious at best, but 1 out of 16 games (Michalak) is not statistically significant while Grant has played enough to make his kicking stat count. Had he played the 4 (?) games he missed that statistic might have even gone up to 86% given his form. He might not quite have the reach of some of the others, but there is nothing wrong with his aim, that's for sure.

      Frans Smith - 2011-06-22 20:33

      @pooh- bear - i never said " a new squad" - i said "You have to build a team over 4 years, gaining experience over the 4 years and then relying on a few special performances from individual players, normally new youngh talent that has been developed" GET IT...?

      rugby_guru - 2011-06-23 15:51

      100% my guys to be for bok 10, Lambie, Grant, and well Butch, I wouldn't have Morne in the squad... I would probably play Grant at 10 and Lambie at Fullback and have Butch on the bench, if Grant becomes injured move Lambie to 10 and Frans Steyn to Full back...

  • G8 - 2011-06-21 10:33

    Butch? Firstly, this is not 2007... Secondly, the Lions only won 1 game in which he started. The upswing for the side started against the Brumbies and Butch remained on the bench because Jantjies had an absolute blinder (yes I know, very few people actually watched the first few games the Lions actually played some decent rugby - so its assumed it was Butch who added the spark). Yes, as a big fish in a small pond, Butch did add experience and value to an inexperienced Lions side for the games he played (mostly at 12), but the Boks are not inexperienced. In the wide ocean of international rugby, Butch currently becomes nothing more than small fry. By any measure, Butch James does not warrant nor deserve CURRENT Bok selection.

      420 - 2011-06-21 11:28

      Butch for no 10!!

      DeonL - 2011-06-22 11:16

      Butch made a massive inpact against the Sharks and was it not for his high tackle, and a few questionable decisions of the ref. Lions would have beaten the Sharks. If he can stop his dirty play he should be at least on the bench for the Boks.

  • BardofAvon - 2011-06-21 10:34

    Gavin, you mean apart from Morne Steyn of course. Good article though.

      Mark - 2011-06-21 10:56

      But Morne sucks which is why he is not mentioned

      Shazred - 2011-06-21 11:26

      I agree Morne sucks, and so does Jantjies, he is too inexperienced and too inconsistent

      Frik - 2011-06-21 12:59

      I agree Shazed and Mark sucks

      Gouetor - 2011-06-21 13:10

      To not even mention Steyn, who will be our starting no 10, suggests that he did not even proof read his own article or the heading should have read 'battle for back-up Bok no 10 narrows'

  • ek se manet - 2011-06-21 10:35

    grant deserves a spot ... he is my first choice , but i have full confidence in steyn and butch to win the cup. butch may be a bit risky with th tackles but that would put the oponents fly halfs under preasure..

      Mark - 2011-06-21 10:59

      I have confidence in Butch and if Steyn's performance against the Sharks is anything to go by I have no confidence in him. Without forwards he can't perform.

      VaniKaap - 2011-06-21 12:26

      @idiot Mark, clearly you haven't touch a rugby ball in a game! No one can perform without forwards!

  • Anneleen - 2011-06-21 10:39

    After Grant's performance on Saturday agains the Cheetahs, it is heartbreaking stuff not to see his name. Of course, I am a die-hard Lambie-fan, and also hoping Grant's fortune might change?

      Anneleen - 2011-06-21 10:40

      ...and why is Keegan Daniel not named?

      Shazred - 2011-06-21 11:27

      I agree Anneleen, he is a superstar....

      420 - 2011-06-21 11:30

      Would have him over Stegman in a heart beat.

      Chronoman - 2011-06-21 11:45

      Anneleen, Daniel's drawback is that he is just too small. The Boks do not play the kind of rugby at which he will excell. Light but very quick loosies like him are great to watch but selectors will not go for them because they will opt for bulky guys that are also quick in any case.

      Anneleen - 2011-06-21 11:48

      @Shazred and 420...thanks for your replies! Here's looking out for Peter and Keegan's names on that list!

      Anneleen - 2011-06-21 12:18

      @Chronoman...thanks for your reply...can't Daniel be "beefed up" before then? :)

      420 - 2011-06-21 14:44

      He will loose one of his best attributes if beefed up - his speed. Daniels handling is also incredibly good - he set up Petersen for that break with a pop back inside. Realistically I cannot see him being named in the squad. Another Sarel Pretourious

  • gooinat - 2011-06-21 10:46

    If Grant does not crack a nod for the Bok squad this year in either the Tri nations or WC he will leave SA.This man has served Stormers and Province very well and deserves he's chance at the highest level.

  • GraemeBB - 2011-06-21 10:48

    This is such an easy one to answer - Morne and Lanmbie. My question is who should start. Lambie's general play has been superb, and even the calls for Grant can be answered with a swift NO. Lambie is in my opinion, the best 10 in SA. Morne has experience, and if Divvy goes with the game plan I expect him to, Morne will fill the gap the best.

      Mark - 2011-06-21 10:59

      I have confidence in Butch and if Steyn's performance against the Sharks is anything to go by I have no confidence in him. Without forwards he can't perform.

      RJ - 2011-06-21 11:21

      Why does everyone think Lambie is the best flyhalf in the country, thr is nothing special about him, he just a talented young player, so is Gary, lionel, elton, sias, just to name few, Lambie will be exposed and I hope not in the world cup.

      Shazred - 2011-06-21 11:29

      Lanmbie is really good, just can't kick for anything...

      Uwe Klopfer - 2011-06-21 11:41

      @Mark. Agreed, without a good pack of forwards he can't perform. But no flyhalf can perform without a domination pack. And with the forwards ou snorre has in the squad (and the old guard has shown a good turn of form lately) it could very well be a domination pack. Divvy clearly isn't going for stylish running rugby. He is going to go for tight, grinding, led by the forwards rugby. This is a competition to see who plays the most entertaining rugby, the WC is still (especially in the knockout stages) real classic test rugby, and Morne Steyn in the man for that style of rugby. Is Butch too old ? Maybe, is he the best flyhalf SA has ? I don't think so. Steyn, Grant, Lambie, Jantjies (in his much improved form of late) and Ebersohn are all better. Grant brings nothing to the table that the others don't already have. And while he was great was the stormers and not too bad for the Boks when he was in the team he has never done anything earth shattering. And before i make my next statement let me say i am NOT a bulls supporter, but when it matters Morne has shown countless times he has nerves of steal. Why take the chance to see if Grant MAYBE has BMT when Steyn has shown countless times he has. So my choice ? Morne Steyn for pure stability and the style play i think the boks will implement, Pienaar and Lambie (and Frans Steyn) for backup since they can fill in for other positions as well.

      Chronoman - 2011-06-21 11:52

      Lambie and Jantjies are similar players. They can break the line and create expansive play. Both have improved their kicking skills a lot. For the 2011 RWC they are just too inexperienced for the really big matches, which is why I expect Steyn and James to be the primary no 10s. The experience gained by Lambie and Jantjies will be invaluable. Whereas SA usually has only one good flyhalf we have at least 5 at this stage and then there is still Ebersohn who may prove to be better than any of the current favourites in the future. All of these flyhalves are good kickers as well, which bodes well for our rugby.

      Pooh-Bear - 2011-06-21 14:58

      @RJ - how can you not think Lambie's one of the best?? He reads the game well, makes good decisions, distributes well, great with ball in hand, varies his play with grubbers, positional kicks etc. etc. And he's also shown character and that he can stand tall under pressure. He's basically got everything you want in a flyhalf!!

      Pooh-Bear - 2011-06-21 14:59

      Of course, you don't need anything more than Steyn's one-dimensional play and accurate kicking if that's the adopted game plan for the WC!

      Naphat14 - 2011-06-22 23:35

      if Lambie is the best No. 10 why was Michalak played at flyhalf and not fullback. Steyn and Grant are the only two choices to start..

  • Tony - 2011-06-21 10:50

    Buth>.c\mon,he's reckless,poor choice,i would rather choose Jantjies or Lambie

      Mark - 2011-06-21 11:01

      And once again I reiterate that he has not once given away a penalty in the 2007 WC...

  • Woji - 2011-06-21 10:54

    Poor decision by SARU I say! Grant is in superb form...

  • Gareth Williams - 2011-06-21 10:58

    Pick Grant, this is reminding me of the Pick Luke "Puke" Watson saga that happened a few years ago.

      VaniKaap - 2011-06-21 12:29

      Yes and when Luke got the chance to play he was useless! Same will happen here! I wish Grant will stay in Japan next year because the Stormers looks much better with him off the field.

      Jakes - 2011-06-22 11:01

      Really cant see the relevance of luke and grant? No political issue. No cheecky watson? Please explain or choose more carefully what u say T W A T

      Naphat14 - 2011-06-22 23:42

      i might be biased as a WP fan, but both watson and grant had/have been playing excellently and were not picked while players in not as good form were picked ahead of them... if theres smoke theres normally fire, and if alot of people are complaining there is probaly a good reason for it. and Watson didn't play terribly, he just got drafted in unfairly and played for a team that didn't like him...

  • jontheb - 2011-06-21 10:58

    And what on Earth is Adi Jacobs doing in that squad? I'd rather play Grant at center than him!!!

      jontheb - 2011-06-21 11:00

      I like Lambie, but I think he's one of our best options at fullback - not flyhalf!

      420 - 2011-06-21 11:32

      Rather have Jacobs then Olivier...

      Frans Smith - 2011-06-21 11:56

      420 - i would not have either (jacobs can not defend - he has a reputation for that - olivier can not attack).

  • caponeil - 2011-06-21 11:02

    Butch is the man for the job - period! He has returned a better goal -kicker, best distributor by a country mile. As far his presence on the field, he is one of those few players that can lift a whole team just by being on the field, similar to Schalk Burger. So all the nay-sayers talking about his "reckless" defensive efforts, look back at RWC07 and asked what exactly did he "cost" us. Come the hour, come the man!!

      420 - 2011-06-21 11:33

      Take a bow sir! Well said!

      Frans Smith - 2011-06-21 11:37

      what about 1 x high tackel and he is off the field for 10 minutes (maybe for the rest of a game)? How do you win a world cup with 14 players? If he was head and shoulders above every other no 10 (like a Carter) i would chance it, but he ins't, so why risk it?

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-06-21 11:43

      He cost the Lion's against the Sharks 2 weeks ago!

      Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-06-21 11:55

      Butch is a given, he just needs to learn to tackle properly. He is a marked man, the opposition will be looking to exploit this. Lambie has at least 2 if not 3 world cups ahead of him; 2015, 2019 and perhaps even 2023.

      Gouetor - 2011-06-21 13:17

      Butch is a step too slow, even on the soft NZ fields

      Spliff - 2011-06-21 13:53

      Thats if Butch "yellow card" James is not sitting next to the field and watching the game.

  • Frans Smith - 2011-06-21 11:03

    Bucth's reputation (his "no-arm" and above the shoulder tackels) will cost us! January has not been in form for 2 years, not to mention, litterally being out of "shape" - rediculous choice - he can not even make a provincial side. Why do we need Zane Kirscnher? Would Grant not have fullfilled a better "place" in the Squad? Why do we need Wynand Olivier, when we have many centres, 10 x better? Please to see no Adi Jacobs for a change.

      Jerry - 2011-06-21 11:26

      Adi? He is IN.

      Frans Smith - 2011-06-21 11:34

      Sorry Jerry.. dont know how i missed jacobs in the write up? Maybe i wanted to.. badly?

      BobbyT - 2011-06-21 11:44

      He is in shape. Round is a shape

  • AndV - 2011-06-21 11:04

    The choice is actually very simple, Morne and Pat.

  • Paulus - 2011-06-21 11:28

    "Grant believes he can still be the Springbok nr 10" , i suspect he also believes in Santa Clause and "die tandmuis"

      Realist - 2011-06-21 13:17

      @ Paulus: Dude get a life! Doesn't seem like you actually watch rugby at all! Grant has been calm and composed in almost all the matches he's played this season so far! Grant might believe he can make it but I believe you're an idiot!

  • Justin Schon - 2011-06-21 11:34

    Peter Grant is by far the best running fly half we have! he is mature and tackles well. Poor ommision there, DIV. Butch is old and may well cost us couple of yellows, as refs will target his tackles. Elton deserves to train with the boks but not above Grant

      Jakes - 2011-06-22 11:03

      Well said mate

      DeonL - 2011-06-22 11:20

      The WC this year might not be suitable for a running fly half as it is usualy very wet in NZ. The Boks are also not known for its running rugby, that is why he might be out.

  • WPBAGE - 2011-06-21 11:36

    What is up with this stupid "Snorre" idiot, he should be replaced, Butch plays his one game and gets a yellow card, what the ......, Peter should be put in the team his stats are much better than Morne's. When will this idiot catch a wake up.

  • Gaans - 2011-06-21 11:36

    I'll play Butch at 10 and Lambie at 15. Aplon and Petersen on the wing. That way we have 2 goal kickers in the team and 2 real game breaker in critical positions! Imagine JdV and Mossie in the centres with Butch on their inside! I am a Grant supporter but his out of hand kicking under pressure is not good enough for him to be included in the team!

  • Johan Cilliers - 2011-06-21 11:39

    I challenge snorre to finding a better group than below 1. Tendai Mtawarira - BJ Botha 2. Bismarck Du Plesis - Schalk Brits (John Smit as consultant) 3. Jannie Du Plesis - Gurthro Steenkamp 4. Victor Matfield - Andries Bekker 5. Bakkies Botha - Johann Muller 6. Schalk Burger - Juan Smit 7. Francois Louw - Heinrich Brussouw 8. Pierre Spies - Duane Vermeulen 9. Fourie Du Preez - Sarel Pretorius 10. Morne Steyn - Peter Grant 11. Bjorn Basson - Lwazi Mvovo 12. Jean De Villiers - Juan de Jongh 13. Jacque Fourie - Wynand Olivier 14. JP Pietersen - Francois Hougaard 15. Gio Aplon - Frans Steyn

      fahja - 2011-06-21 12:10

      alberts? lambie?

      pieterc - 2011-06-21 12:16

      I think the conditions in NZ will also play a huge role. In Grand Priz racing they have three different sets of tyres to suit the track, on the same level I think we will do well do select a combination of folk that could play on relatively dry to extremely wet fields. NZ is still pretty wet in September.

      Jason - 2011-06-21 12:26

      Heinrich Brussouw at 7 think u need to find out what your flankers do he should be at 6

      Gaans - 2011-06-21 12:53

      Jason openside flanker is 7.

      Johan Cilliers - 2011-06-21 13:09

      @Jason sorry didn't necessarily match the number to the name, just as a flanker. @fahja both good players, but lambie is still young and not as consistent, alberts play to loose, trying to run with the ball or stand in the backline to much instead of doing the hard work like vermeulen, but with vermeulen injured alberts would be the logical replacement

      Gaans - 2011-06-21 13:43

      Why does everyone keep including Brussouw in their teams. He have only played 2 or 3 games in the last 2 years but still there are a load of people that will include him.

      MN85 - 2011-06-21 13:52

      Good team, like how you included Smith and that Grant and pretorius got a nod. I think I'd rather play Alberts or Daniels than Louw though, they make more of an impact.

      Staalbal - 2011-06-21 13:58

      Good squad, but would make a few changes. Out - BJ In - Coenie Out - WO In - Johann Sadie Then you have two teams capable of beating anyone.

      Naphat14 - 2011-06-22 23:54

      Great squad but Hougaard at No. 9 cover rather, and Habana must be in the there, he's works so hard and has experience, him and Pieterson. And Vermeulen and Kanouski ahead of Spies. Steyn to start at fullback. Olivier shouldn't be there,

  • Mike@CapeT - 2011-06-21 11:40

    Grant clearly did drop below the radar whilst he was injured which is very unfortunate. He was the best flyhalf on show prior to his injury and will need to show that form again in his final 2 matches to make a late entry. PDidly will need an experienced cool, calm and collected flyhalf at the RWC which Grant clearly is. Apart from that 2nd half against the Chiefs (where the whole team went to sleep) Grant has not put a foot wrong this season! He certainly showed his class against the Cheetahs, even though it was his first game back from injury!

      Dowwe Duane - 2011-06-21 15:45

      @ Mike@CapeT What did i tell you? He is not top 5 flyhalf in the country. Guess you'll tell me now the Boks has lost the "X" facto

      Dowwe Duane - 2011-06-21 15:45

      My 9yr old cousin can show class against the Cheetahs.

      Lance - 2011-06-22 10:19

      Yesterday I was complaining about Grants exclusion, rightfully so. Today I think it could be part of a plan to rest him as they say "Save the best for last". If Grant has to play atleast two more games before being included in the Tri-Nations he would be exhausted/possibly injured. I think let the chose no 10's play their hearts out in the Tri-N. I believe fate will intervene and a fresh Grant will prevail to lead us into the sunset at RWC 2011. Grants kicking stats and the fact that Div has Rassie (Stormers brains trust) in his arsenal will hopefully see Grants late inclusion. I believe many of the names we are cringing at right now will be the base of the Tri-N squad as that will be their "nerves and fitness test". Grant doesnt need to be tested, only preserved...

  • amabok - 2011-06-21 11:42

    Adi Jacobs ....Ricky Januarie....?!?!?! WTF! who are these muppets selectors? I thought the race quota no longer applied? Neither of them can make the starting line-up for their provinces...why are they in the WC squad?

  • Frans Smith - 2011-06-21 11:44

    50 man squad? i only count 49 - am i right? maybe there is a place for grant?

  • amabok - 2011-06-21 11:45

    P.S. Wynand Olivier is also useless. And why is Sarel Pretorius not in the squad? He's been the standout scrumhalf of the Super 15!

  • StBad - 2011-06-21 11:48

    I'm a big fan of Elton's and I feel there should be a certain place for Butch but I really feel for Grant's exclusion in the squad... he's very unlucky!

      Lance - 2011-06-22 15:37

      Fear not, see my comment above regarding Grant..

  • JJRR - 2011-06-21 12:04

    Morne Steyn wie anders.! O ja ek het vergeet hy is n Bul ,so dit beteken seker nou dat hy oor die muur is en .........

  • saliem - 2011-06-21 12:10

    NONE of the flyhalves (including Grant) are even CLOSE to the class of Dan Carter and Quade Cooper (to name just 2). As goalkickers, Steyn, Grant and Lambie are nowhere near as accurate with kicks from the right-hand side of the field. Jantjies had a poor season and showed huge frailties when he was under pressure - obviously he is there for reasons other than merit. For me the best "flyhalf" on show this season was Duvenhage - maybe a positional change for him in future? Anyhow, methinks we will battle with what is available when the big games arrive.

  • TK - 2011-06-21 12:13

    I would have 3 flyhalves in the squad, in this order: Grant, then Lambie and then Jantjes so that he can learn and gain experience. Butch James is a liability because of his indiscipline (for this same reason I would not let Bakkies near the Bok squad) and offers nothing that Grant and Lambie don't have and Steyn is too limited and needs a winning pack to look good. PdV is painting himself into a corner by clearly going the Bulls tactical route, which we are seeing this season once again is outdated and is spported by players that are over the hill.

  • Dan - 2011-06-21 12:19

    No sane coach will go into any big WC or play off game without Mornè Steyn. There is absolutely nothing wrong with his general play, his kicking is a level above the rest, his defence is solid and below the neck, while his kicking out of hand is way above the rest. Kicking is and has always been Peter Grant's weak point. I never thought he would make any WC team, so this is no suprise at all. He can hardly kick 20m field position and if you are stuck in your 22, then Grant at No.10 will keep you there. Sorry, but just not good enough for the big games.

  • Jason - 2011-06-21 12:25

    Deon Stegmann are you kidding me!!!

  • bill - 2011-06-21 12:48

    Grant is a plodder with a fraction of the ability of Lambie.He is by no stretch of the immagination an international player-only in the minds of rabid WP supporters.

  • clivegoss - 2011-06-21 12:50

    Tie a yellow ribbon around the old Butch James it been four long years ooops wrong song it is YELLOW CARD for the stylish "look ma no arms" tackles.Take Grant Lambie and Morne Steyn and you have backline coverage that must coaches can only dream about.

  • attie.basson - 2011-06-21 12:55

    I think we can read into this that Mr De Villiers will stick to Mr White's build up 4 years ago. Overseas based players like Mr Muller and Mr BJ Botha as well as the guys who are in the group but will not make it to RWC 2011 will play in the away Tri Nations games. During the Tri nations all rounders like Pienaar, Lambie, Frans Steyn and James will probably get game time in more than one position. Maybe for only a half a game in each. This would be a last chance to make an impression but I suspect only injury to the chosen 32 (yes I think unlike previous years we actually have 2 plus good enough guys in each position and the selectors actually know who they are and will actually hope injury or really bad form in the home tests makes their job easier) will give them a back door. Davis Cup tennis used to have non playing captain's. A pity we can not employ this in rugby as Mr Smit will be keeping a very talented and in form player out of the RWC squad. I think the surprise names in this 49/50 man squad/list is a last payback for past ommissions and loyalty and these players will only play in the away tri nations games. Hope the list confuses the All Blacks and Aussies but doubt if it will. We've got the manpower to reach last 4 at RWC but beyond that we'll need individual brilliance (look for it in players under the age of 30) backed by a fit and hard working tight five (hope the over 30's can still do it but Blue bulls loss and JS not getting much game time Saterday?)

  • Staalbal - 2011-06-21 13:49

    " coupled with the resurgence of the other Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjes", What? Elton Jantjies is just as overrated as Earl the Pearl. and btw, what is Krusty the Clown doing in the squad? Drop - Zane, Ricky& Elton and select Sarel, Grant & Sadie

  • TheSteve - 2011-06-21 14:20

    Lambie, Butch James and Peter Grant, with Pat playing ether FB or 10 and James and Peter rotating. No 9, Sarel Pretorius, Ruan Pienaar and Hougaard, with Hougaard as cover for backline with Pat and Pienaar.

  • Claude - 2011-06-21 14:27

    The selectors are going to have egg on their faces if Grant guides the Stormers to a Super Rugby win and even if not he is a better bet than any of the others. If Butch goes and we loose out because of a Yellow Card the selectors should resign. If we end up winning and I hope we do P. de V. will take the credit for what others around him have accomplished despite him.

      Lance - 2011-06-22 15:42

      Grant is being excluded because the selectors knwo they have a points machine.,,Let the others play in the Tri-N. Grant will arrive fresh on time..( I cant see Rassie leaving Grant behind as Im sure the Stormers connection will have something to do with it- Im not complaining)

  • deluscia1 - 2011-06-21 14:57

    Butch james sucks!!! Please ffs choose Grant instead!!

  • jason.coenraad - 2011-06-21 15:08

    1) Gurthro Steenkamp 2) Bismark du Plessis (Chiliboy Ralepelle) 3) Coenie Oosthuizen (Tendai Mtawarira) 4) Danie Rossouw (Victor Matfield/Bakkies Botha) 5) Andries Bekker 6) Schalk Burger (c) 7) Juan Smith (Heinrich Brussow) 8) Duane Vermeulen (Ashley Johnson) 9) Fourie du Preez (Francios Hougaard) 10) Pat Lambie (Butch James) 11) JP Pietersen (Lwazi Mvovo) 12) Jean de Villiers (Juan de Jong) 13) Jacque Fourie 14) Gio Aplon 15) Francois Steyn This team will win the WC!

  • Luke - 2011-06-21 15:11

    grants been playing so well ! first game back and he had one of his best games, how on earth can you leave him out ???

  • Roche - 2011-06-21 15:35

    Its a joke!!!!! Elton Jantjies was dropped most of the season as he underperformed badly and butch james is just back to get some more yellow cards and should not be allowed on a rugby field!!!!!!!!!

  • Roche - 2011-06-21 15:41

    Well jantjies should definately not be there, he was not even able to make the lions team most of the season with lack of form. Then butch should not even be allowed on a rugby field due to his discipline. It will never change and he will cost us a big match at the wrong time!!!

  • Dowwe Duane - 2011-06-21 15:43

    @ Mike@CapeT What did i tell you? He is not top 5 flyhalf in the country. Guess you'll tell me now the Boks has lost the "X" factor

  • caponeil - 2011-06-21 16:06

    If you rate the guys on the following: kick, defense, tactical and running here is what you get; Kick: Morne 5, Butch 4, Grant 3, Lambie, 2, Jantjies 1 Defense: Butch 5, Grant 4, Lambie 3, Jantjies 2, Morne 1 Tactical kicking Butch 5, Lambie 4, Morne 3, Grant 2, Jantjies 1 Running: Lambie 5, Jantjies 4, Grant 3, Butch 2, Morne 1 Distribution: Butch 5, Lambie 4, Grant 3, Jantjies 2, Morne 1 Totals: Morne 11 Butch 21 Grant 15 Lambie 18 Jantjies 10 I suppose then one should weight the need for it might be a truer reflection, WC's are won on kicking and defense and I think both carry equal weight then Butch will still be my favorite.

      RugbyMentor - 2011-06-21 20:47

      Jy is maar simpel - die "caponiel-lewis system" neem nie in ag waneer dit reen nie, geel kaarte of lopies per boul beurt nie. So, dankie, maar jy is maar dom ou!

  • Too bad - 2011-06-21 19:09

    I like Butch he makes the opponents back-line nervous, hell they could even just name him in the squad and they stain their shorts. Grant is a very average fly-half like Steyn. The real star is Ebersohn this is is first season.

      RugbyMentor - 2011-06-21 20:48

      Wat van Lambie?? Hy is by ver die beste in die land van ons - go Lambie.

  • RugbyMentor - 2011-06-21 20:40

    As Grant nie beseer is nie, is dit DeVilliers, en as hy dit maak, is dit Doff Gat Duane. STORMERS IS MOFFIES!! Hulle ry rond in pink Mini's, en speel graag put-put!

  • TheDuck - 2011-06-21 21:35

    Nice article.

  • kurtvs - 2011-06-21 21:35

    My team 1. Beast 2. Chilli 3. Brain Mujati 4. Bakkies 5. Matfield 6. Schalk 7. Jean Deysel 8. Ashley 9. Du Preez\Sarel 10. Morne 11. Brian 12. Juan de Jongh 13. Fourie 14. JP Pietersen 15. Gio Aplon 16. Guthro Steenkamp 17. Bismarc 18. Danie Rossouw 19. Lambie 20. Bjorn Basson 21. De Villiers Jean\Adrian Jacobs 22. Du Preez\Sarel

  • Bats - 2011-06-22 06:36

    How about some power mixed with speed in the starting 15 backline for the rwc? 1 Tendai Mtawarira 2 Bismarck du Plessis 3 Coenie Oosthuizen 4 Willem Alberts 5 Victor Matfield 6 Heinrich Brüssow 7 Juan Smith 8 Ashley Johnson 9 Fourie du Preez 10 Morne Steyn 11 Ryan Kankowski 12 Jaque Fourie 13 Bjorn Basson 14 Gio Aplon 15 Patrick Lambie

  • Pietie - 2011-06-22 11:24

    Maybe I have been living on another Rugby Planet for the past 15 years. When last have we had a "real" No 10? Think about Carter, JW, Giteau, Quade Cooper of late, but to name a few. All at their best of course. We only have fly-halves who play up-and-down rugby. Nothing creative, just a link. Sometimes it seems as if they are brain dead. Stereotyped into the position. All the "worthy" fly-halves think out the box, have exceptional vision and have super reaction time. Which brings us to Riaan Viljoen. I dare anybody to have a look at the last 10 matcheswhich he played. Everytime he pops up at No 10 in broken play, he either scores or makes a try. Can no coach see this? Please guys, put on rugby thinking caps and see beyond provincialism. Or find another sport code to dump talent.

  • huffelsuffel - 2011-06-23 11:59

    Earl rose is beter as Peter Cunt sorry grant

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