Ex-Bok has hope for fringe players

2015-07-02 20:32
Wikus van Heerden (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former Springbok loose forward Wikus van Heerden says players on the fringes of Bok selection should not become despondent.

Van Heerden was a part of the Springbok squad that won the 2007 Rugby World Cup - a tournament he took more part in than he initially expected.

“We have to be honest. There’s almost a whole team on the Bok injury list. It is likely that one or two of those guys won’t be fit for the World Cup,” Van Heerden told Netwerk24.

“So long as you are in the national coach’s sights, then you have a chance to play in the tournament, even if it may not seem that way initially. Things change quickly.”

Van Heerden, who played 14 Tests for the Boks between 2003 and 2007, remembers how he got his chance in France.

“In 2007 I was a member of Jake White’s initial training group, but then I got injured and wasn’t even considered for that year’s Tri Nations.

“After we lost to the All Blacks in Durban, Jake decided to send that infamous ‘B-team’ to Australasia. Suddenly I was back in the picture. It was a surprise to be in the final World Cup squad.”

When Schalk Burger got suspended for two matches after a dangerous tackle performed on a Samoan player, Van Heerden got more than he bargained for in the tournament.

“It allowed me to play in the critical group game against England. I never thought I would be involved in six of our seven matches.”

Read more on:    springboks  |  rwc 2015  |  wikus van heerden  |  rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Saturday, 09 June 2018
New Zealand v France, Auckland 09:35
Australia v Ireland, Brisbane 12:05
South Africa v England, Johannesburg 17:05
Saturday, 16 June 2018
New Zealand v France, Wellington 09:35
Australia v Ireland, Melbourne 12:05
South Africa v England, Bloemfontein 17:05
Saturday, 23 June 2018
New Zealand v France, Dunedin 09:35
Australia v Ireland, Sydney 12:05
South Africa v England, Cape Town 17:05
Saturday, 18 August 2018
South Africa v Argentina, Durban 00:00
Saturday, 25 August 2018
Argentina v South Africa, TBA 00:00
Saturday, 08 September 2018
Australia v South Africa, Brisbane 00:00

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee remains defiant, saying he won't resign despite a shambolic two years at the helm. Your thoughts?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.