Spies out of Bok tour

2009-11-02 20:46

Johannesburg - Springbok No 8 Pierre Spies has been ruled out of the Test matches against France, Italy and Ireland after injuring a finger during a training session in Johannesburg on Monday afternoon.

Spies underwent an operation on Monday evening, and has been replaced on the tour, which encompasses matches against English club sides Saracens and Leicester Tigers in addition to the three Test matches, by Sharks flank Jean Deysel.

Deysel was not in the same form in 2009 as he was in his first full season of top flight provincial rugby, but nonetheless he is a player with a lot of potential and his selection into the squad might in a sense be a good thing as it will enable the Boks to further grow the depth available at loose-forward.

With Spies ruled out, Sharks No 8 Ryan Kankowski will get a chance to show what he can do at this level. He made an impressive debut against Wales in Jake White’s last match in charge just under two years ago, but since then he has been kept on the sidelines due to Spies’ impressive form.

Bok coach Peter de Villiers caused some consternation among rugby journalists on Monday when he announced a team to play Leicester Tigers in the opening match at Welford Road on Friday night that included Heinrich Brussow. This was taken as an indication that SA’s Young Player of the Year would not be part of the team to play against France.

However, it is possible that De Villiers is just doing what he has said he is doing – ensuring that the side that plays against the English champions is not completely short of experience. The Bok coach has also ascribed the selection to the need to look at the balance of the loose trio for the Leicester game.

Outside of the four established test loose-forwards in the squad, there is a shortage of experience among the rest of the back-row players, and De Villiers would probably be right to assume that giving both Ashley Johnson and Davon Raubenheimer a start in their first appearances in the green and gold would be risky.

There would be no point in taking Johnson on tour, however, if he was not going to play in this game, which could explain why Kankowski was not included.

Certainly any thought of the Boks going into the French game without Brussow on the flank would appear laughable after the outstanding season he has enjoyed at all levels of the game. The combination of Brussow, Schalk Burger and Spies worked well in the final Tri-Nations game against the All Blacks, and while Spies is now ruled out, there would appear no good reason to change the flank configuration which had Brussow packing down at No6 and Burger at No 7.

With Burger having been out of rugby for a while with injury, and given how eager he looked to play when he came on as a replacement for Western Province in the recent Currie Cup semi-final, it would be logical to ask though why he is not playing against Leicester. He surely needs more game time than Brussow does.

The other selection which appears to be an indicator of something is that of Wynand Olivier as the inside centre for the Leicester game. Olivier would be the first choice replacement No12 for Jean de Villiers in the eyes of most critics, but this selection suggests De Villiers will press ahead with his risky plan to play the out of form Adrian Jacobs at inside centre.

Meyer Bosman, the other option as an inside centre, is on the bench for the Leicester match.

The 22 players who will do duty at Welford Road leave for England on Tuesday evening, with the rest of the players flying to Europe next Tuesday, just three days before the test against France in Toulouse.

Springbok team for Leicester game:

Earl Rose, Odwa Ndungane, Juan de Jongh, Wynand Olivier, Jongi Nokwe, Ruan Pienaar, Heini Adams, Ashley Johnson, Dewald Potgieter, Heinrich Brussow, Andries Bekker, Danie Rossouw, Jannie du Plessis, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Gurthro Steenkamp

Replacements: Bandise Maku, Heinke van der Merwe, Alistair Hargreaves, Davon Raubenheimer, Francois Hougaard, Meyer Bosman, Riaan Viljoen


  • Cullart - 2009-11-02 20:58

    He had a quiet game in the semi's and final. Maybe he needs a booster...

  • Sharky Andrew - 2009-11-02 21:02

    lol. they don't make rugby players the way they used to. I remember Andre Joubert playing in the 95 world cup with a broken hand. I'm sure he wouldn't have even noticed if he broke his finger like Pierre did now. ;-)

  • rey - 2009-11-02 21:07

    Congrats Jean..well deserved.

  • GuruBru - 2009-11-02 21:07

    I suppose that this means that the est back three will be 6 Brussouw 7 Burger 8 Kankowski This will also mean that Brussouw will have to be withdrawn from the midweek team and will have to be replaced by Raubenwhatisnamer.

  • meester - 2009-11-02 21:13

    this is definitely a huge setback for the bok squad. not that convinced that kankowski is the answer at the back of the scrum and the softer fields of europe. especially when the scrums is struggling!!!! hopefully this will be jean deysels chance to prove himself. my loose forwards combination for the first test - brussouw (6), deyzel (7), burger (8)...

  • gibson - 2009-11-02 21:15

    Hope Pierre recovers quickly. Jean Deyzel is more than a worthy substitute.

  • ryan - 2009-11-02 21:21

    well deserved jean deysel. im not happy with a few selections the wise pdv has made. wheres guys like duane vermeulen, tiaan liebenberg and lionel mapoe? surely chilliboy doesnt deserve selection!

  • Hennie - 2009-11-02 21:26

    Jean Deyzel deserves to be in the team, Pieter see if the French will make an offer for Earl Rose !! I know it will be hard, but take the first offer, even if they offer you 10 Euros a season, we don't need him in the team His not Springbok material.

  • Obvious - 2009-11-02 21:31

    I'm very happy for Deyzel, he deserves it. Get well soon Pierre

  • salomonvdw - 2009-11-02 21:48

    no loss!!! better guys than him in the squad.

  • Shark Bone - 2009-11-02 21:53


  • Another Britz,Watson? - 2009-11-02 21:53

    Is Duane Vermeulen the next Schalk Brits or Luke Watson that will not get picked no matter what happens? Deysel is useless and just another Snor selection. No “meester” Deysel should play in the week side seeing that he should fall in behind all the already selected loose forwards you idiot or don’t you understand how it should work?

  • Jan - 2009-11-02 22:11

    @ Shark Bone... sour grapes by the sound of your comment, all I can do is laugh in your face!!!!

  • Rossman - 2009-11-02 23:11

    Spies will definitely leave a huge gap now. I somehow do not feel that Deysel alone is enough to replace him. I think maybe Deysel is in the squad because there is an opening now. Deysel is strong, make no mistake. But is it enough? For Europe? Lets wait and see. There will be more injuries and changes. Maybe Mapoe might still be on his way. Who Knows?

  • Jean - 2009-11-03 01:48

    Anyone notice that deserving players that dont originally get a call up suddenly get chosen because of an "injury" to a player? Think end of year tour last year, when Jannie du Plesis got a late call up (even though Brian Mujati was in the squad), and excelled. Or Heinrich Brussow, who wasnt originally in the squad but replaced injured out of form Schalk Burger in the 1st test? And now deserving Jean Deysel replaces Spies (not sayin Spies doesnt deserve to be ther, but he'[s had a long hard year and should've stayed behind for fatigue reasons). Adi Jacobs injury allowing Jaque Fourie in, or Conrad Jantjies injury to allow F Steyn to show his talents at FB. I wonder how different the Bok team would look if PDiv didnt have to pick the best players due to injury of the 2nd best.

  • Etienne - 2009-11-03 03:07

    im shaken by this info as Spies is my favourite player! i really hope he gets better quickly and i hope this isnt a massive blow to the bok side. Jean has big boots to fill.

  • @Shark Bone - 2009-11-03 07:19

    If the Sharkies were so strong, why didn't they make it even to the finals. Bottom line is, the Sharks didn't had what it take.

  • peebo - 2009-11-03 08:40

    not sure what all the fuss is about,the second stringers should be more than adequate to win the three mentioned internationals - leave the rest at home - save them for the S14 - real rugby!!

  • Sharky Andrew - 2009-11-03 08:50

    @Lourens - Don't take things so Seriously, I was just making a bit of a tongue in cheek comment. lol. I think its best that Pierre gets his finger sorted out now, and also it forces PDV to test his depth in the back row. PS, Fullbacks do need to catch the ball quite a few times during a game, which could be quite painful to do with a broken wrist, so there is at least some merit to comparing the 2 instances. ;-)

  • GN - 2009-11-03 09:03

    Adi Jacobs cost the Sharks in the semi-final. Now he is set to do the same for the Boks. Not a Olivier fan but he has got to be a LOT better than Jacobs. Earl Rose - what a joke. Must be PDV's ego that keeps this clown in the squad - the whole world is laughing at that choice. Good luck Bokke -end off the season well.

  • Pommie - 2009-11-03 09:09

    No difference they will loose against French by the way.

  • Dave - 2009-11-03 09:20

    I challenge Boot's and All to provide a clip of Earl Rose's balls ups just from the last season, forget any other season. This guy is going to be laughed off the park in all the games he plays in. He is the clown prince of SA rugby. Please bokke at practice do him an awfull injury for the sake of our country

  • Shark Bone - 2009-11-03 09:27

    @Cindy-Please stop supporting the Sharks,you don't know rugby. Go watch tennis,ballet or best support the BB with people of your least knowledge of rugby.Try lose weight while you at it.Do you support rugby because your bully hubby supports our precious team? Deysel is about 5 players better than Spies and like Brussouw and Steyn it took an injury for him to get a call up and he'll make good use of the chance. Spies is in the team because he plays for BB nothing more than that.They've tried to sideline Sharks players but they are left with no choice this time.Deyzel is RSA's best no:8.

  • Mark - 2009-11-03 09:55

    Who won the super 14? Who won the currie cup? To all the sore losers out there, this is the bottom line..

  • Cassie - 2009-11-03 10:09

    As long as there are strippers & cocaine supplied on tour for the burnt out has-been ex supersport commentators all will be ok.

  • Lourens - 2009-11-03 10:16

    @sharky Ok so lets agree to disagree lol

  • Data - 2009-11-03 10:17

    Deysel is a good choice but not the best!! The selectors are too quick to write off a battling teams players!! Willem alberts would have been a far better call up! Only problem is then Spies would battle to earn a re-call.

  • Megabull - 2009-11-03 10:18

    @ sharkbone.... 1st Please dont talk to ladies that way. 2nd Pierre is the best No. 8 in the world and his replacement sould have been Alberts.

  • kevan - 2009-11-03 10:52

    You guys are the most pathetic, childish individuals around. I love rugby but it brings out the worst in people. I got just one question. What does pierre spies pray for on the field. If anybody knows let me know.

  • Jakes - 2009-11-03 11:53

    @ Shark Bone, firstly Deysel is a flanker not a number 8 (evidence of your extreme Rugby knowledge) Secondly I like Deysel he is a very good back up to have but Spies is better face it. And no I am not a BB supporter as you are going to proclaim now because I support Spies my team whipped you good enough in the semi's. Grow up man you really are a complete TOOL

  • chameleon - 2009-11-03 12:32

    hey kevin, i actually know what pierre prays for on the field - it's revealed in joost's new book as well. our christian players pray not for victory, but that god's will be done on the field. they also pray for protection from serious injury and, when they win or score, they say thanks. it's as simple as that.

  • Bhoethana Khomphala - 2009-11-03 14:19

    Why was Pierre Spies not replaced by Julius Malema...?? ..What happened to transformation..??

  • mack the blue - 2009-11-03 14:24

    Well said Chameleon,and Kevan that is exactly what is prayed for.Since schoolboy level we've all prayed ,never for victory ,but protection.The guy in the other side is my equal and created by God as well,besides we all know God dont have any favourites !

  • Makhenkazi Stofilap - 2009-11-03 14:41

    Why is Davon Raubenheimer not the captain..??

  • Lion - 2009-11-03 15:50

    @Megabull, SOOOOO glad the CC is over!!! Finally we can agree on certain aspects of the game such as Alberts being a better back up for Spies than Deysel!!

  • Selma - 2009-11-03 20:55

    Bhoetana, Julius Malema is an impact player. He only comes on to the field to annoy the opposition. Take a bow Pierre. You had a fantastic season.

  • Sakie de Kok - 2009-11-04 15:01

    EARL ROSE..................... WTF, how does this guy keep making the BOK Squad????

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