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My Bok team

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks, The Rugby Championship on 3 Jun 2013 at 08:45
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Following the announcement of the Springbok squad on Saturday evening, we have all had a few days to digest this. From the 34 man squad, is it possible to select a match 23 that can really do damage during the Rugby Championship?

The answer is simple. Yes. Heyneke Meyer has gone from backing his favourites in light blue to picking form players, regardless of their franchise. His inclusion of Lourens Adriaanse and Trevor Nyakane over Bulls props is testament to that.

Yes, the team has a slight light blue tinge to it, but surely it should if you look at the Super Rugby log as it stands this morning.

Let’s get into the thick of things and select a team.

The front row is one of the easier selections to make, should all three be fit and ready, Beast, Bismarck and Jannie should be the first choice. As for the first test against Italy, I am quite sure that Adriaan Strauss will start ahead of Bismarck, who is yet to play any top flight rugby this year.

As for the second row, we all know who we want to see locking down. The reality though is that Juandre Kruger and Eben Etzebeth have played together before for the Springboks, and I won’t be surprised to see them start with Pieter-Steph du Toit on the bench.

The loose trio is certainly tricky to call. I know who I want to see play, but whether Heyneke agrees is a completely different story. My preferred trio would see Francois Louw, Arno Botha and Pierre Spies starting. Lappies Labuschagne has been in great form, so to see him ahead of Arno Botha will not be a surprise. Neither will seeing Willem Alberts surprise me, but he has not quite hit full throttle since coming back from injury. Marcell Coetzee and Siya Kolisi are set to fight it out for a spot on the bench.

The halfbacks are a bit easier to select, and I think my selection will mirror what Heyneke picks – Ruan Pienaar and Morne Steyn starting. Francois Hougaard has one role in this team and that is to cover scrumhalf and wing from the bench. Unfortunately, the same fate awaits Pat Lambie, who will cover flyhalf and fullback from the bench.

Another youngster is set to make a name for himself in midfield. Jan Serfontein, after his withdrawal from the Baby Boks, is set to be promised a start alongside captain Jean de Villiers. The exact make-up of the combination is yet to be seen but I would prefer Jan at 12 and Jean outside him.

The back three will be another tough selection. The wings should really be Bryan Habana and Lwazi Mvovo, but I suspect Bjorn Basson will get the call ahead of Mvovo. Mvovo has been in some good form for the Sharks, and taking into account the form of the Sharks overall, that is saying something. As for fullback, Zane Kirchner came off the bench in the Bulls’ victory over the Cheetahs, so his fitness seems to be of no concern. I would prefer a running fullback in Willie le Roux to Kirchner, but Heyneke will favour his tried and tested fullback.

Springbok squad:

Forwards (19): Tendai Mtawarira, Lourens Adriaanse, Trevor Nyakane, Jannie du Plessis, Coenie Oosthuizen, Adriaan Strauss, Bismarck du Plessis, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Eben Etzebeth, Flip van der Merwe, Juandré Kruger, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi, Francois Louw, Marcell Coetzee, Willem Alberts, Arno Botha, Lappies Labuschagne, Pierre Spies.

Backs (15): Jano Vermaak, Ruan Pienaar, Francois Hougaard, Pat Lambie, Morné Steyn, Jean de Villiers, Juan de Jongh, Jan Serfontein, JJ Engelbrecht, Bryan Habana, Lwazi Mvovo, Bjorn Basson, Gio Aplon, Zane Kirchner, Willie le Roux.

So, from the squad above, herewith my match 23, followed by the likely Heyneke Meyer match 23:

Richard’ 23: 15. Willie le Roux, 14. Lwazi Mvovo, 13. Jean de Villiers, 12. Jan Serfontein, 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Morne Steyn, 9. Ruan Pienaar, 8. Pierre Spies, 7. Arno Botha, 6. Francois Louw, 5. Eben Etzebeth, 4. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Adriaan Strauss, 1. Tendai Mtawarira.
Bench: 16. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17. Coenie Oosthuizen, 18. Trevor Nyakane, 19. Juandre Kruger, 20. Willem Alberts, 21. Francois Hougaard, 22. Pat Lambie, 23. JJ Engelbrecht

Heyneke’s 23: 15. Zane Kirchner, 14. Bjorn Basson, 13. Jean de Villiers, 12. Jan Serfontein, 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Morne Steyn, 9. Ruan Pienaar, 8. Pierre Spies, 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Francois Louw, 5. Juandre Kruger, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Adriaan Strauss, 1. Tendai Mtawarira.
Bench: 16. Bismarck du Plessis, 17. Coenie Oosthuizen, 18. Trevor Nyakane, 19. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20. Arno Botha, 21. Francois Hougaard, 22. Pat Lambie, 23. Willie le Roux


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