Bok bases beautifully covered

2011-08-23 23:06

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town - While selectors will never, ever please all of the people all of the time, a hallmark of the Springboks’ RWC 2011 squad is that it leaves precious little room for anyone to get genuinely hot under the collar over.

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Yes, the families, friends and fans of customers like Ashley Johnson, Flip van der Merwe and Lwazi Mvovo - not to mention those players themselves, naturally - will be desperately disappointed that they failed to make the cut, even if none of them had “must-pick” especially compellingly emblazoned across their foreheads anyway.

For the most part, the 30-strong party announced in Johannesburg on Tuesday night boasts impressive hallmarks ... or to put it a slightly less gung-ho way in the present climate, looks just about as well-equipped as it could be for both the challenge ahead and the clearly-intended game plan to be embraced.

If there are relatively minor surprises, they come in the form of Francois Louw and Odwa Ndungane, who weren’t being talked up by many scribes until very recently (in the case of the latter, you could say not at all).

But even the Sharks wing workhorse – as opposed to recognised speedster, it is true – can’t really be branded a poor pick, especially bearing in mind that he is most likely to fall into a “back-up” category in New Zealand.

The 30-year-old knows the system, as they say, and arguably fits the Bok template against top-tier foes at the tournament pretty well: the Boks aren’t going to suddenly stun the planet with a frenzy of expansive zest, and will clearly focus much energy on “stopping the opposition from playing”, as it were.

So solid positional acumen and commitment in the tackle will be valued commodities, and Ndungane can certainly help out there if required; the more mercurial Mvovo’s World Cup time, hopefully, will come four years yonder.

I believe the selection of Louw, who had seemingly drifted off virtually unnoticed to a new career with Bath after the Super Rugby season with the Stormers, is not far short of inspired.

With Heinrich Brüssow having demonstrated anew the rich value of the specialist fetcher, someone with known pedigree in that department who could step into his shoes swiftly in the event of mishap befalling the Free Stater at the World Cup was always going to be a wise addition.

South Africa have tried Deon Stegmann in this capacity without any profound impact at all: Louw, who is also a considerably more powerful ball-carrier, has previously shown that he can mix it with the very best as a “stealer”.

Two occasions come quickly to mind, and both as recently as 2010: first when he gave Richie McCaw’s Crusaders a taste of their own medicine by gloriously bossing the deck in a rare 42-14 hammering for them at Newlands, and then in a thunderous, man-of-the-match Test showing against France at the same venue - one of the most vibrant victories of the Peter de Villiers tenure thus far as head coach.

The Springboks have twigged at a great time that it is good to get a classy player like Louw back aboard the wagon.

I had fancied beforehand like some others that the Boks, ever conscious of wanting to throw a kitchen sink at forward, would opt for a 17-13 pack/backline split; instead they went 16-14, but again there is no special cause to quibble.

From positions 15 to one, after all, there does appear to be a broad range of “cover”, with player versatility a sound feature.

For instance, South Africa could start many a World Cup match feeling fairly confident that the flyhalf channel would not be grossly let down by any of the following available soldiers: Morné Steyn, Butch James, Pat Lambie, Frans Steyn or Ruan Pienaar.

Most of the other backline positions also have at least five credible customers reassuringly at hand, with only outside centre - Jaque Fourie and Juan de Jongh arguably the only two realistic possibilities - slightly thin on resources if an injury or illness plague were to strike.

Here’s something else to chew on: with so much attention given to the heavy reliance on the been-there-done-that troopers of 2007, there’s been a perception, by extension, that the RWC 2011 squad will look particularly long in the tooth.

Yet the final product isn’t glaringly so in calendar terms. Only six of the group are over the age of 30 and three of them (James, Danie Rossouw and Johann Muller) seem unlikely starters at this stage for the opening match against Wales. And that’s even before you begin to speculate on the exact role the 33-year-old travelling captain, John Smit, may play for that encounter!

When England won the last World Cup to be staged in Australasia, in 2003, there were more creaking bones than these at the core of things, and that very nation has again summoned a certain Simon Shaw to the 2011 fray - the gnarly lock will turn 38, no less, on September 1.

You could almost say he makes Victor Matfield look like a pup in a box.

South Africa have overwhelmingly picked the correct sort of personnel for the obvious course, rightly or wrongly, that they plan to pursue in September and October.

I’m happier than I thought I’d be with the 30.


  • Bulldozer - 2011-08-23 23:11

    The heading should read: "Frans's hair beautifully styled."

      StaalBurgher - 2011-08-23 23:42

      You are an idiot BUT I commend your dedication in waiting for each and every article to appear in order to get the first comment in. Will be interesting to see how long you can keep it up. Good luck!

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-23 23:52

      Thanks buddy, I appreciate it.

      BLOODY AGENT - 2011-08-24 05:31

      Bulldozer i heard that Frans warms up with a hair dryer before a test

      Netherlands - 2011-08-24 06:46

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! CHIRP OF THE DAY...!!!! Hope the Hairdryer doen NOT BURN OUT!!! Nothing like a BAD HAIR DAY!!! HAHAHAHAHAAA!!!

      Heinrich - 2011-08-24 07:57

      Easy to comment on a 110kg man's looks on a internet site???

      Johann - 2011-08-24 08:08

      U a hairdresser Bulldozer? It seems that some of the "stars" of this show will not be able to discuss matters rugby over a few beers. Regarding the team selection, not much wrong there and probably the best we can do. GOOOO BOKKE!!!

      BLOODY AGENT - 2011-08-24 08:29

      @Johan ek sien by jou is die hare maar aan die min kant

      Raka13 - 2011-08-24 08:44

      HA HA HA - Agent goeie chirp. @Dozer - you must be pritty upset that Rose wasn't picked?

      Chief Kok - 2011-08-24 08:48

      The Boks journey will come to an end against the All Blacks in the semi. The last time the mighty All Blacks were beaten at Eden Park was in 1986.

      Bellakanoose - 2011-08-24 09:06

      Ha ha ha! Nice one Bulldozer... Steyn's new name... Timote'

      Neutedop - 2011-08-24 09:10

      @ Chief Kok - and the last time they won the World Cup was only sit down!

      Jackool - 2011-08-24 09:47

      The heading should read: "Bulldozer is an idiot."

      Paul - 2011-08-24 09:51

      I think Bulldozer and BLOODY AGENT are turned on by Frans , these 2 ladyboys are just here to comment a load of BS,they never add any value to the bebate ... just stupid comments .... childish FOOLS !!

      BLOODY AGENT - 2011-08-24 10:28

      Poo Paul,may i call by your real name?

      GraemeBB - 2011-08-24 12:25

      @Paul - I rather enjoy their fine rugby commentry.

      AmandaWhereTo - 2011-08-24 12:27

      A truly majestic mane.

      The J - 2011-08-24 13:24

      Kok. You might want to pay attention to a certain country in the All Blacks pool. As mentioned to Ian Jones on Saturday night. The French might derail the AB's RWC a bit. A loss against the French in the Pool Match could seriously dent their confidence going forward. We all know that judging by the last two World Cups that the French have a way of rising to them. And they are a team never to be underestimated. Then again I don't know why I'm telling you this as you are not from New Zealand and you are, at times, slightly stupid. But hey, who am I to interfere and judge your delusional statements?

      NickArmstron - 2011-08-24 14:18

      @ Neutedop - great chirp - and in 1987 - a clearly MUCH stronger Springbok team was not playing. Remember - the first-choice All Blacks (bar 2 players - Kirwan and Kirk) - came to SA in 1986 as the NZ Cavaliers - and got hammered by Danie Gerber, Carel du Plessis, Naas Botha, Gert Smal and co: 3-1. Sorry for you New Zealand - you have never won a LEGITIMATE RWC!! As for Flo as a fetcher - Keegan Daniel is a much better fetcher. Flo, like Schalk, is a ball-carrying flank - a no. 7 in SA rugby. The Stormers - with Schalk and Flo as the flank combination - have been blown off the park in 3 finals games in the last year. Last Year's Super 14 (vs the Bulls) and Currie Cup (vs the Sharks) Finals, and this years S15 semi vs the Crusaders - ALL 3 lost by the Stormers/WP - all 3 Schalk and Flo 'nowhere to be seen'......... Keegan as Heinrich's back-up is the only change I would make... We better pray nothing happens to Ratel Brussow - if Schalk and Flo are our combination in a big game (eg semi vs NZ) - game over - we lose (again)...... McCaw will have them for breakfast - again. Ratel Brussow - our MVP since 2009. :)

  • sam - 2011-08-23 23:15

    All the best to the Bokke, win or lose we will be behind you all the way! (Altho, a win would be better hehe)

      Zolani - 2011-08-24 10:15

      Happy, AD Jacobs and Earl rose are not in the squad, otherwise i'm getting excited, when are we going to have a parade like we did for Bafana, in the streets. starting to stock up on beer, and disprin already

  • René Müller - 2011-08-23 23:18

    No surprises must admit except Johan Muller, IMO Flippie would have been a better option. Anyway done and dusted, let's support them ALL! Let's at least try and forget 'provincialism' for the duration of the WC, afterwards we can have 'fun' again.

      BardofAvon - 2011-08-24 03:36

      Yes, Rene, Springbok rugby gives everybody a chance to be a Bulls supporter.

      Ferraro - 2011-08-24 05:17

      flip hasnt done anything positive for bok rugby....

      BLOODY AGENT - 2011-08-24 05:33

      Flip is n yster

      Netherlands - 2011-08-24 06:48

      I see the NEXT Springbok rugby captain has been INCLUDED in the RWC Team... Chilliboy Ralapele! Check the flack Bizzie is going to get, TRYING to get a game..... Same excuse will be used, once the Captains change... Smit is off to UK after the RWC, and Matfield will be retiring....who's left to Captain? Yep folks..... he is also a HOOKER.... same a "BIZZIE".. "Nando's Man", Chilliboy Ralapele!

      Rolie - 2011-08-24 07:53

      @Bloody Agent - You mean O-yster don't you???lol.

      Tools1 - 2011-08-24 08:00

      @ netherlands - interesting foresight there. I think you just might be right. He must be the unluckiest player in the world. International media are saying that Bismarck is the only Springbok in the World 15 yet he doesnt make our starting 15.... ironic to say the least!

      Dan - 2011-08-24 08:17

      @ Netherlands. Chilliboy will probably be the next captain yes and at least he is a merit player. I agree Bismark is "maybe" the best in the world, but this is South Africa and we are not a normal society. At least Chilliboy will not let us down.

      BLOODY AGENT - 2011-08-24 09:12

      Nee Rolie ek bedoel YSTER,oyster is n ding in jou vrou se broek,lol

      MB1810 - 2011-08-24 09:29

      Flip is a hard player, but I think what costs him dearly is his discipline, like a few other guys that did make the team he tends to lose his head sometimes and as things stand right now, we don't need a bench player that only comes on for 10 to 15 minutes to spend that time in the sin bin. I am a fan of him though and think he's the perfect replacement for Bakkies when he retires.

      Rolie - 2011-08-24 10:18

      @Bloody agent - as opposed to fish in yours. LOL

      wordzworth rhymesmith - 2011-08-24 11:28

      with you there Rene although i would have rather gone for Mostert instead of Flip... But as you say, it's now done and dusted.

      Netherlands - 2011-08-24 15:26

      I agree with you on that one @ Dan and Tools... Once the Boks have a BLACK CAPTAIN, attained on MERIT, BTW... then all will be ok in the land of BRAAI AND BEER! Wonder why I got so many THUMBS DOWN on the Chilliboy chirp????

  • Samurai Demo - 2011-08-23 23:24

    WAAR IS GRAEME SMITH? haha. well, with the most hectic season ever, we should be glad we only missing 2 first choice guys (juan, bekker), and not 10. mvovo 4 odwa is the only bad 1 and you cant get much better than this. jacob zuma will be handing that trophy to smit, like madiba and mbeki lol. rassie or mallet 4 next coach! SA ENG FINAL!

  • Michael - 2011-08-23 23:31

    The Springboks did spring a few surprises!But the best one is yet to come. Come end of October : surprise we've defended the World Cup!

      Riaan - 2011-08-24 07:46

      If them French can spring a third surprise on the AB's in the group stages... Our path to the final would be beautifully paved and the AB's would travel the route of Eng and Aus.... Just think an AB vs Bokke Final.... Ooohhhhh

      Maori - 2011-08-24 09:40

      @Riaan - the France will not lift their game as much in a pool game as in a knock out game - they will keep it for the quarters. AB's will take revenge for 2007. At least, this time around the bokkies must play the big guns! Cannot wait.

      CenturionX - 2011-08-24 11:31

      @Maori It is really not our fault that your team cannot make the sit down and STFU!

  • StBad - 2011-08-23 23:32

    The 'one or two' small surprises are pretty inconsequential... First team picks itself, GO BOKKE!

  • Samurai Demo - 2011-08-23 23:45

    THANK YOU POLITICIANS FOR NOT GETTING INVOLVED like before! much appreciated.

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-24 05:03

      They did get involved. That's why Francois Louw was included.

      BLOODY AGENT - 2011-08-24 05:29

      They are involved thats why we sit with Div

      Marx - 2011-08-24 07:30

      The truth....Flouw is only in the squad 'cause Stegmann is injured.

      Steyts - 2011-08-24 07:41

      You have no idea how relieved I was last night when the final team was announced! Probably the first time ever you can say that it is genuinely our best group we could have picked!! Yes tthe surprise or two are anyway the boys that will be carrying water botttles and oranges most of the time so that isn't such a big worry!

      Mthetwa - 2011-08-24 08:27

      Hey ........ leave Div alone. He is my regular pet giggle - 2011-08-24 08:38

      Marx , nope Stegman had his chance and never took it, they need someone in the mold of Brussouw and Louw is much closer than useless Stegman. He is one of the main reason Bulls ended 7th in the Super 15. Read the article , (South Africa have tried Deon Stegmann in this capacity without any profound impact at all). Stegman was only in NZ to make up the numbers.

  • StaalBurgher - 2011-08-23 23:46

    The real question is why the **** was Louw not included sooner?! Did Brussow really change the coach's thinking? At least if we don't win we can sleep soundly that the Boks defended their Cup with what is just about the strongest possible combination.

      slg - 2011-08-24 00:28

      Because there's something wrong with Div's mind and eyes. Louw was inexplicably dropped pretty much after the opening match of last year's Trinations when we mismanaged our tour to NZ and our players were asleep on the field. It's all very weird our lack of professionalism. It's a wonder we win anything.

  • JC - 2011-08-23 23:52

    Great squad. A few suprises, like the article and others have said, Odwa (I thought Mvovo) and Muller (I thought Mostert or Flip van der Merwe), not that I disagree that much. It's a shame that Juan Smith and Andries Bekker won't be joining them. Juan is a legend of SA rugby in my opinion while Andries is a legend in the making (not that Andries isn't already awesome). This is our best available team. Now, we just have to pray that injuries don't mess it up. Our team in 2009 was VERY similiar to this one and that team made a meal of every opponent. I realise that times have changed, but when you enter the WC, conditions change as well. NZ, with their aggressive style of play may shoot themselves in the foot. I predict, that either NZ will demolish every opponent they face all the way through OR as soon as they encounter a close game they will lose. This is just my opinion (and God I hope it is true). Go BOKKE !!

      slg - 2011-08-24 00:24

      Agree. Two big losses in Juan and Andries. But I reckon they won't miss out on much anyway, sorry to say.

      Mr. B - 2011-08-24 15:47

      Main reason for Muller is that both Flip and Mostert are number 4 locks of the "breker style" ala Bakkies. We have cover for Bakkies in the form of Danie Rossouw, who I honestly believe is better than the big BB anyway. We needed cover for Victor in the form of a more agile line out orientated lock rather than a power scrummager. IMO I would have used the opportunity to get Rynardt Elstadt into the system early. Chuffed for FLO - he did very little wrong to lose his place and it means that we have quality combinations for any match. Alberts covers 7 and 8 and to be honest I can see him playing himself into a strating position in front of Spies by the end of the tournament

  • slg - 2011-08-24 00:20

    I like what you say about Francois Louw, Rob. He was the victim of Div's blindness and inverted lenses. Devilliers is the biggest threat to our chances of making it to the final and winning it. I don't see us getting past the quarters because of him.

  • visarend - 2011-08-24 00:25

    Wonder how much Rassie's involvement was , with picking Louw . Although I am a stormer and wp through and through , I think i am not blind to good quality players . Louw and Vermeulen are quality players that get very stuck into the donkey work of a foward . At the same time , I think Spies , is a wonderfull athlete . The moment you mix him up with a Brussouw , or Louw , he wonderfull talents come to the fore . He is not one for the donkey work . I have always believed that a coach must first and formost decide on the game that he wants to play , and then pick the players that fit that plan . Spies will always flourish in the company of Brussouw's , or Louw's . Each one of the selected 15 , on any given day, must compliment the next . Come what may , I have high hopes for the Boks . Any team that will want to beat them , will have to play out of their skins .

      slg - 2011-08-24 00:49

      Love what you say about Spies and Brussouw/Louw. Completely agree.

  • Neilson - 2011-08-24 00:52

    Akona is better than Odwa.

      Netherlands - 2011-08-24 06:52


      MustBeCrazy - 2011-08-24 08:37

      I can't tell the difference, do you think the Welsh, Fijians, Samoans will know?

      Shark-Chic - 2011-08-24 08:57

      @ mustbecrazy..... But i think Mvovo is better than both of them...but he will have his time and both the wingers and potentials in the 30 man team are more than capable...

      Shark-Chic - 2011-08-24 09:08

      That was supposed to be LOL @ mustbecrazy...

  • Kleinboet - 2011-08-24 02:24

    OK, so there wil always be a few players you like less than others, but overall a good group that has the potential to bring the cup home! I will stop bitching about those players I do not like and support the Bokke full out. For the next month or two, if a team is picked out of this group it is my team. Make us proud, boys! Go, Bokke!

  • zim - 2011-08-24 04:17

    This is the only team that can beat the ABs.

  • Denjo - 2011-08-24 06:55

    Good squad..Just hope there is some continuity for the duration of the tournament and lessons learnt from the last 2nd string team pitted against the Islanders, IMO this time bringing the big guns on late in the game won't ensure a victory. Wales... we will be up for, its the other games that worry me!! - 2011-08-24 11:31

      PDV stated before that he will play his srongest 15 in every match, bar injuries. So don't worry about that, he is actually using the games in the pool stages almost like warm up games, in order to peak in the knock out stages, could turn out to be a stroke of genius, or big mistake. Let's pray not the latter.

  • Hannetjie - 2011-08-24 07:11

    Good squad - only surprises for me is Odwa (I thought Mvovo) and Johan Muller (I thought Mostert). Let's now ALL get behind the boys and give them our full support so they can wear the Green and Gold with pride!!!!!!!!! Go Bokke !!!!!!!!

  • BB - 2011-08-24 07:15

    Die groep is so groot dat dit absoluut niks beteken nie. Dif kan nogsteed n swak of goeie span kies. Sal nie nou opgewonde raak nie, kom ons kyk hoe sy starting lineup lyk dan praat ons weer.

  • - 2011-08-24 07:23

    ya true, its the right team choice for the 'traditional' style of rugby we play. too late for trying to fight Oz and NZ fire with fire. Only reservations - Ndungane and Danie.

      Spioen - 2011-08-24 08:30

      @Herb77 - I've been thinking the same thing... fight fire with water, which is basically Div's gameplan. Go Div, Go Bokke, Go the 11 Language Republic!!!

      boyd.lance - 2011-08-24 12:14

      Fighting fire with water sounds good to me!!

  • haha - 2011-08-24 07:23

    Only Bismarck, Brussow and Willem Alberts have really earned their places there..the rest is questionable and then John Smit, Habana, Francois Louw and Johan Muller should not even have made a SA C- team.

  • - 2011-08-24 07:23

    I told you F.Louw is better than Stegmann..........

      Canibus - 2011-08-24 07:38

      @Vallemj: You must remember that Luke Watson is better than Louw, Stegmann, Brussouw, Vermuelen & Burger... Ndungane & Ruan Pienaar don't deserve to be going to the WC... Lwazi Mvovo and Jano Vermaak should be there.

  • Kwagga - 2011-08-24 07:24

    DIt is n patetiese span - wat soek die vgl ouens daar hier is beter spelers die jaar as hulle: Danie Rossouw - has been proven he can't play 80 minutes Johann Muller - Give me one game he was the best on the pitch -ummm thought so Ruan Pienaar - Weet nie eers waar sy kop of gat is nie wat speel hy nou eintlik Odwa Ndungane - Wat se kant is Mvovo nou weer om jou so baie jy kan nie eens onthou nie Francois Steyn - Dikgat sny jou hare - geen dissipline op veld - mucho jy is nie groter as die game nie CJ van der Linde - Al 2 laaities in die Vrystaat scrom jou in jou kas in Francois - Dumminy of Lions has your number

      Lance - 2011-08-24 11:26

      Relax kwagga...most of the guys you mentioned will have sore @sses from warming the bench...or will be 20 minute super-stars...Nothing wrong with that.I am happy calling them second choice players in a team of 30.

  • golivi - 2011-08-24 07:42

    Frans has been training with Percy, looks like it was'nt only for kicking at the posts!

  • The Oracle - 2011-08-24 07:43

    SSSSSStoooooooorrrrrrmeeerrrrrrrrsssssssss!!!!!!!! WP jou lekker ding!!!!!

  • Riaan - 2011-08-24 07:44

    If them French can spring a third surprise on the AB's in the group stages... Our path to the final would be beautifully paved and the AB's would travel the route of Eng and Aus.... Just think an AB vs Bokke Final.... Ooohhhhh

  • Jimmyfuse - 2011-08-24 07:46

    A good solid squad~! Good luck Bokke

  • - 2011-08-24 07:52

    Are you allowed to call for replacements during the world cup? Under what circumstances?

      DavesRave - 2011-08-24 07:58

      A tour ending injury in the early stages will qualify for a replacement imho

  • Sbuda - 2011-08-24 08:09

    The sad part in all of this is that Peter has absolutely no intention of playing Odwa. Should Habana prove to be a flop, he'll move JP to 11 and Hougard to 14. And the truth is a wing combination of JP & Mvovo is better that JP and Hougard more so because they didn't even have to sacrifice Hougard. Ndungane shouldn't be there. Mvovo could have had a great opportunity to learn, same way as Burger did in 2003. Afterall he's the one for the future not Ndungane. I feel sorry for the next coach, just like White he'll have to start from scratch with absolutely nothing to build on. Peter de Villiers inherited a great team from which he could have taken us higher, sadly he'll leave nothing except the stupid quotes!

  • cj - 2011-08-24 08:15

    Congrats to Pee Divvy. He has, despite all the nay sayers, developed a squad that has just the right mix of experience and youth. Except for the John Smit/Bismarck issue, there seems to be contentment in the squad, everyone knowing where they fit in. We could actually win this thing. Also PDivvy has brought some lightness and entertainment to the Bok coach role. Usually one only hears tired old clichés and platitudes from rugby coaches ( and players actually), but with Divvy you get what's in his mind, even if that is somewhat scary sometimes. Go Bokke, go PDivvy !

  • johnmich - 2011-08-24 08:15

    Ruan Pienaar?? I thought politics wouldn't play a role in this selection!! This guy is useless,everytime he plays,we lose!

      Porra - 2011-08-24 11:18

      Sorry but you are wrong. Ruaan played flyhalf in the Boks 43-6 win at Twickenham. I was there so try another one!

      Lance - 2011-08-24 11:35

      As my comment above..He is a capable second choice player who knows the system and can cover any backline position at the drop of a hat as he knows all the fellow team members playing styles.

  • Mark Milligan - 2011-08-24 08:20

    Not a bad squad at all. Now the real headache is taking that group and picking a good 15 to start against Wales.

  • jk - 2011-08-24 08:27

    what i dont get is that snorre left flo out after the NZ game ltest last year, and was never again in his palns, 2011 he give deysel a go up to the last test, and then bring flo back. What was his idea with deysel??? i dont know how he thinks, IF he ever thinks???!!!

      Maori - 2011-08-24 09:43

      JK, you never get anything! Stop trying

  • John - 2011-08-24 08:30

    Sorry boys - I don't get what all the noise is about regarding Mvovo. I don't believe he has the "x" factor nor have I seen him scoring a lot of tries in Superrugby. He does a lot of jinking & stuff when he runs into the traffic but when it comes to beating the fast men on the ourside he goes missing. I have not seen the stats but I would take a small bet that Odwa has scored more tries this season. For me Odwa is a better wing by a mile. As for Flip he's a large lump of lard and definetly ain't no Bakkies.

  • harry.booth - 2011-08-24 08:32

    It surprises me that nothing has been written about how poor Danie Russouw has been. Cant catch, cant tackle and runs upright into a challenge and loses the ball. He is the type of player that could mess up badly in a close game. How could he be preferred to Ashley Johnson??, that in its self is a joke and so so clearly they are not picking politically. Also Ndungane instead of Mvovo?? He hasn't even played this series and Mvovo never got the ball to impress and didint put a foot wrong. Makes no sense!

      StaalBurgher - 2011-08-24 11:23

      Since Danie is more of a lock I don't see how he and Johnson are competing. If you want to drop Danie you need to pick another lock.

      Lance - 2011-08-24 11:44

      yes, Movovu didnt put a foot wrong..yet on the defensive side Ndugane is the better option and is more experienced. Good defence wins world cups, not good side-steps..

  • - 2011-08-24 08:33

    Again with the inverted commas and verbosity!!!!

  • Zullie - 2011-08-24 08:36

    Okay fellow armchair critics and selectors - let's select a side made up of players not selected for the RWC and who ply their trade in the Currie Cup and supposing they are fit. Have a look at this - 15 Kirchner. 14 Basson. 13 Sadie. 12 Olivier. 11 Mvovo. 10 Ebersohn S. 9. Mc Leod. 8 Strauss J. 7. Deysel. 6 Johnson. 5 Bekker. 4 vd Merwe. 3 Nel. 2 Strauss A. 1 Oosthuizen. 16 Botha. 17 Greyling. 18 Kolisi. 19 Elstadt. 20 Vermaak. 21 Ndungane A. 22 Jantjies E. Give this side to Heyneke Mayer to coach and let him set up his support team. Okay guys, what you think?

  • la Rey - 2011-08-24 08:42

    Good squad but will the coaching and suporting staff be good enough?? Will the gameplan work? Thats the real questions.

  • Realistiqly - 2011-08-24 08:50

    Only problems with squad - Ruan Pienaar; Butch James; Odwa Ndugane(AA); John Smit - the rest to me is okayish.... Why 3 hookers?

      Maori - 2011-08-24 08:59

      They take 3 hookers with as Div heard the New Zealanders will abstain from sex during the tournament!

      Shark-Chic - 2011-08-24 09:09

      cos if JS or Bismark gets injured??? then what? Always gonna have Bismark on the bench, (although it should be the other way around). Then where would the back up be if Chili wasnt there?

      BM123 - 2011-08-24 12:07

      Always need 3 hookers and 3 scrumhalves - the most specialist roles in the team. Back in the day when only two replacements were allowed teams would always have a spare hooker and SH. Odwa is far from an AA pick. His defense is outstanding, he gets through a lot of work and he is an elusive close to the line. He has scored some good tries for the Sharks this year and I believe is a solid choice. Far better than inconsistant and defensively suspet payers like Basson, vd Heever and Mvovo (all of whom may still improve)

  • denido - 2011-08-24 08:59

    Positive article. Thank you so much for this

  • Jenny - 2011-08-24 09:03

    Gongrats to Mkiti Malakoane for being appointed Springboks "Baggage Master"

  • Cina - 2011-08-24 09:07

    I'am happy with the team bar for four players that I don't think deserve to be there and they are Frans Steyn, Francois Louw, Ruan Pienaar & CJ vd Linde. They didn't play in the super15 or any other games in SA this year so why should they play for the Springboks. There is other players that more deserve to play for the Springboks.

      Jenny - 2011-08-24 09:11


      Brannas - 2011-08-24 10:12

      Wat de hel maak Pierre Spies in die span? DIt is 'n skande dat hy voor Luke Watson gekies is. Ons weet almal Luke is nie die beste agsteman in die wêreld nie, maar Spies is useless en overrated. Net soos Victor Matfield.

  • FJ2 - 2011-08-24 09:09

    Agree with picking Muller. He does the hard work in the engine room, pulls his weight at scrum time and is reliable in the lineouts. Also, he won't do something rash as quickly as Flip.

  • EmptyCan - 2011-08-24 09:14

    Thank goodness no Olivier, Jantjies (both Conrad and Elton), Stegman, Potgieter, and Jacobs. Sad about Johnson, but there is simply no space. Now Louw must just learn to steal and slow down "legally" as he gives away a lot of penalties, and Habana must learn to stay with the defensive plan. In a RWC, that is suicide. Three main areas they have to improve though, (1) protecting the ball at the breakdowns,(2) defensive structure and first time tackling, (3) and stopping to talk tothe ref at the breakdowns and concentrating on the ball. That will win it for us. I hope.

      Jenny - 2011-08-24 09:28

      Put coenie in as prop and you have your fetcher

  • Oliver Kirsten - 2011-08-24 09:43

    Robert, while I agree that there is good balance and cover in almost all positions there are two positions, outside centre, as you rightly say, but also, more importantly, tighthead prop, that could become problematic. What happens if jannie Du Plessis gets injured? Do we go through a WC with CJ as the anchor in the scrum? In that case we will be under severe pressure against teams like Wales, NZ and England.

  • jennifer.woker - 2011-08-24 10:28

    @Chief Kok we'll only meet them in the semi's if the All Blacks manage to overcome their hangup re: France in the group stages - if they lose to France then - we won't see them till the finals and then its game on, so correct me if i'm wrong but here's to France!!!!

  • bullincapeto - 2011-08-24 11:00

    Chief Kok, I think I know why you hate the Bokke, I believe your mom is a big Bok fan, in fact such a fan that every time they play she hits the papsak, unfortunately she watched a game and polished of a papsak (soet en wit) whilst being pregnant with you. You now blame the Bokke for your fetal alcohol syndrome.

  • Kaapie - 2011-08-24 11:05

    Chief Kok they also won the first cup and thereafter never again.. Eden Park of te nie..

  • Lance - 2011-08-24 11:06

    Yes, solid side that I am struggling to find fault with, all more than capaple of the job. Go gettem Bokke !

  • Kevin - 2011-08-24 12:00

    Go Boks Go. To those who think it is a "Fait accompli" don't try and predict the future. While I always want the Boks to win, watch the Aussies, they won the Super 15 with some outstanding rugby. Go Bokke!!

  • Bellakanoose - 2011-08-24 12:08

    Think some people forget tri-nations 2009, Hamilton, Waikato... same teams, same coach, similar squads, 32-29 to the Boks! And yes, Carter and McCaw were both there... including Habana and Steyn! So whats different now... anything can happen on the day? So all you haters shut-the-truck-up!

  • Riaan - 2011-08-24 13:09

    Bok caps "One size fits all" ?