Rory Kockott will be overlooked for the Springboks tour, despite being the French Top 14 player of the year. The talk is Louis Schreuder will be included.
Fourie du Preez is unavailable and Ulster-based Ruan Pienaar will start at scrumhalf. Kockott, the star at Castres and Toulouse-based Jano Vermaark, are deemed inferior to the qualities of Schreuder and Cheetahs Piet van Zyl.
Every coach is single minded about certain positions and in this case it appears the single mindedness is that Kockott simply is not good enough. I can’t agree on that as I thought Schreuder was awful in the Currie Cup final and Van Zyl is not a Test player.
Veterans Bakkies Botha, Jaque Fourie and JP Pietersen, all based overseas, will be included in the squad of 32 but prior to Saturday’s final Frans Steyn and Schalk Burger were not on Meyer’s radar. I’d pick them both because of their class, but on performance room simply has to be found for Steyn, especially as he can cover fullback.
Meyer is under pressure to select more black players and more locally based players, which means his final touring squad may not be a representation of who he believes to be the best 32 South African players.
Rapport Newspaper’s Louis de Villiers speculated that Gio Aplon, Schreuder and Scarra Ntubeni would be the surprise inclusions. Aplon deserves selection, but not so the other two.
Schalk Brits and Chilliboy Ralepelli should be ahead of Ntubeni in any pecking order.
I can guarantee you that if Ntubeni tours and there is a double injury to Bismarck du Plessis and Adriaan Strauss one of Ralepelli or Brits would be drafted in to start ahead of Ntubeni.
Botha and Fourie last played for the Springboks in the 2011 World Cup.
Bok team (as speculated in Rapport Newspaper)
Zane Kirchner, Gio Aplon, JP Pietersen, Willie Roux, Bryan Habana, JJ Engelbrecht, Jan Serfontein, Jaque Fourie, Jean de Villiers (capt), Morne Steyn, Pat Lambie, Johan Goosen, Ruan Pienaar, Jano Vermaak, Louis Schreuder.
Duane Vermeulen, Siya Kolisi, Marcel Coetzee, Francois Louw, Willem Alberts, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Bakkies Botha, Eben Etzebeth, Flip van der Merwe, Bismarck du Plessis, Adriaan Strauss, Scarra Ntubeni, Frans Malherbe, Coenie Oosthuizen, Curthro Steenkamp, Jannie du Plessis, Beast Mtawarira.