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Influx of overseas Springboks?


Written by Chris Smith (ChrisS)

Posted in :Original Content, Reader Submissions, Springboks on 31 Jan 2012 at 10:52
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Heyneke Meyer has gone on record recently as stating that he’ll be travelling overseas to chat to potential Springbok players. The likely suspects are:

Ruan Pienaar (scrumhalf)
Johann Muller (lock)
BJ Botha (tighthead prop)
Frans Steyn (inside centre)
Joe Van Niekerk (eighthman)
Jacques Fourie (outside centre)
Gurthro Steenkamp (loosehead prop)
Fourie Du Preez (scrumhalf)
Bakkies Botha (lock)
Danie Rossouw (lock / blindside flank)
Gerhard Mostert (lock)
Shaun Sowerby (eighthman)
Brian Mujati (tighthead prop)
Jacques Cronje (eighthman)
Heinke van der Merwe (loosehead prop)
Wian du Preez (loosehead prop)
Sarel Pretorius (scrumhalf)

Some of the overseas-based players won’t make the Boks but it would be foolish to overlook them and diminish our talent pool. Looking at the list of players above we can increase our eighthman, prop, scrumhalf and lock options considerably. Local is lekker but let’s select the best players regardless of where they play!!

There’s been a lot of speculation recently about who the next Bok captain will be with Schalk Burger, Jean De Villiers, Juan Smith and Pierre Spies being the most popular choices and a few journalists throwing Bismarck du Plessis’ name in as a wildcard.

Thinking outside the box for a minute there are other options available to Heyneke Meyer:

Johann Muller is doing a fantastic job as captain of Ulster and has captained the Boks on occasion so it wouldn’t be anything new for him. At 32 he also has a fair few years of top flight rugby left in him. The concern is whether or not he could nail down a spot in the starting XV as Heyneke Meyer has stated that his team is chosen first and then the captain.

The next possible candidate is “Big Joe” Van Niekerk! Anybody who’s been watching Toulon lately will be able to testify to his captaincy skills and the fact that he’s added a harder edge to his game. Long seen as a show pony afraid to do the hard work and happier amongst the backs, he has changed his style of play and now has the mongrel and hard edge to lead the Bok pack from the front! Given the lack of a dominant 8th man in the Bok fold for the last (when did Spies make his debut) couple of years, Joe Van Niekerk could actually earn a spot in the starting line-up. Age is also on his side as he is only 32 this year!

The last possible overseas candidate is Fourie du Preez, long regarded as the world’s number one scrummy! He’s led the Bulls on occasion, is still young enough to play for the Boks for many years to come and has been part of the Springbok leadership group for many years. The question marks surrounding him are his desire to play at the highest level again and whether or not he can regain his form following a disappointing 2011.

It’s going to be interesting to see who Heyneke Mayer will choose from the overseas-based players as well as who his captain will be but at least the cupboard isn’t as bare as it looked at first glance!



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