What a farce. Scarra Ntubeni and Louis Schreuder are Springboks!
What a farce. Johan Goosen is touring after 60 minutes of rugby in the last seven months.
What a farce. Francois Steyn is not touring after a superb Currie Cup final performance.
Ntubeni becomes yet another ethnic black player whose inclusion will appease those politicians and administrators who judge transformation by the number of black players in the Springbok squad. He won’t get a game on tour. He’ll carry bags, as did Raymond Rhule before him. As did so many others.
Heyneke Meyer clearly rates Schreuder and Ntubeni.
Currie Cup performances apparently also have merit when convenient.
‘Scarra’s inclusion, like that of Gio, is also just-reward for continuous great form,’ said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
‘He’s still young and will learn a lot from our two front-line hookers, who both rate amongst the best in the world, on this tour. I want to expose him to this environment and the Springbok ethos and I’m very excited to work with him.
‘It will be great to have Bakkies, Jaque and JP in the squad – all of them are really excited to play for the Springboks again, they have heaps of experience and are world-class players.
‘And Louis has always been on our radar – he is only 23, fits in with the way we want to play and was impressive when he worked with us in June. Since then he’s established himself as first-choice at DHL Western Province, starting in nine of their 12 Absa Currie Cup matches, and I believe he will learn a lot on this tour, improving even more.’
What happened to Jano Vermaak? He played effectively for the Boks against Italy, got injured, went overseas and hasn’t figured since.
Chiliboy Ralepelle and Schalk Brits are better options as the third hooker – and it would have saved on the budget. One is playing in France and the other in England.
The recalls of veterans Bakkies Botha and Jacque Fourie were expected. So too JP Pietersen.
Who knows what Griquas prop Lourens Adriaanse has done wrong. He has been part of the Bok set-up most of the year but doesn’t make the tour. Springbok and Cheetahs prop Trevor Nyakane again doesn’t feature. So much for the investment in black players.
The first choice match-day squad is as expected but the fringe selections are loaded with contradictions.
Rapport newspaper prepared the public for the squad announcement, which showed that the squad had clearly been selected prior to the Currie Cup final – and that performance in the final counted for nothing.
Had the performance counted then Charl McLeod and Steyn would have been in and Ntubeni and Schreuder would be reflecting on a shocker of a final.
You also have to question why 32 players are being taken on a three-match tour, with a third of the squad unlikely to play.
Springboks touring squad
Backs – Zane Kirchner, Gio Aplon, Willie le Roux, JP Pietersen, Bryan Habana, JJ Engelbrecht, Jaque Fourie, Jean de Villiers (c), Jan Serfontein, Morné Steyn, Johan Goosen, Pat Lambie, Fourie du Preez, Ruan Pienaar, Louis Schreuder.
Forwards – Duane Vermeulen, Siya Kolisi, Francois Louw, Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Flip van der Merwe, Bakkies Botha, Jannie du Plessis, Frans Malherbe, Coenie Oosthuizen, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Adriaan Strauss, Scarra Ntubeni.