Cape Town – His return from the long-time cold has been one
of the primary, curveball developments of the Springbok Test season this year.
But an onward ticket to the World Cup is going to prove a
bridge too far for Heinrich Brussow, the nuggety fetcher from the Cheetahs and
Japanese outfit Docomo Red Hurricanes.
Sport24 has extremely credible information suggesting
Brussow will not make the cut when coach Heyneke Meyer names his 31-man RWC
squad in Durban on Friday evening (18:00).
Instead the loose forwards (five specialists, plus one
utility factor) will be Duane Vermeulen, Schalk Burger, Francois Louw, Siya
Kolisi, Willem Alberts and the versatile young Pieter-Steph du Toit, who also
covers lock if necessary.
Brussow, 29, made a pretty startling comeback a few weeks
ago, after it had often been speculated that he had an “awkward” relationship
with Meyer – he was chosen to play against the All Blacks, a team he had been
so stellar against in three Bok wins over the old foes on the trot in 2009, in
Johannesburg (South Africa were edged out 27-20).
The tenacious little open-sider was then given starts at No
6 again in the two Tests against Argentina.
While not setting the world alight in quite the manner he
did during that victorious Tri-Nations campaigns six years ago, he appeared to
do enough to suggest he was an attractive RWC possibility.
Ahead of the 2015 season, Brussow had last represented his
country in the controversial quarter-final exit at the hands of Australia in
Wellington at the 2011 World Cup.
Instead, however, Sport24 understands that Meyer will pin
his faith on the Bath-based Louw being fully fit in time for major combat at No
6 at this year’s tournament, with back-up then coming from adaptable loosies
Burger and Kolisi.
The former offers options in all three berths, whilst the
24-year-old Kolisi, from Zwide in the Eastern Cape but on the Stormers/WP
books, can flick between six and seven without too much fuss.
Sport24 gathers that Marcell Coetzee, the Sharks dynamo who
has often been a favourite of Meyer’s -- earning 28 caps, all in Meyer’s tenure
from 2012 onward – will also miss the cut, after suffering an inconvenient knee
ligament injury in the shock Kings Park loss to Argentina on August 8.
He was expected to require six weeks or thereabouts for
recovery, which was cutting it particularly fine for Meyer, considering that he
has several other high-profile players deeper down the road to fitness but not
yet assured of participation from the outset of RWC 2015.
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