South Africa name squad for Rugby Championship

springboksSpringbok head coach Heyneke Meyer has included Japan-based scrum-half Fourie du Preez in his squad for the upcoming Rugby Championship. The South African veteran will, however, only be available for the matches played in South Africa. For all other games, Piet Van Zyl will take his place.

Toulouse prop Gurthrö Steenkamp and Stormers number eight Duane Vermeulen, who last played for the Springboks in November 2012, have both also been recalled to the squad.

The Springboks open their Rugby Championship campaign on 17th August against Argentina in Soweto.

Jannie du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Bismarck du Plessis, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Adriaan Strauss, Eben Etzebeth, Juandré Kruger, Flip van der Merwe, Franco van der Merwe, Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Siya Kolisi, Francois Louw, Duane Vermeulen

Fourie du Preez (SA Tests only), Ruan Pienaar, Jano Vermaak, Piet van Zyl (Overseas Tests), Pat Lambie, Morné Steyn, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers (c), JJ Engelbrecht, Jan Serfontein, Bjorn Basson, Bryan Habana, Zane Kirchner, Willie le Roux

14 thoughts on “South Africa name squad for Rugby Championship

  1. There is a huge difference between playing rugby in Japan and the Rugby Championships. I cannot believe that a coach would select a scrum half for home games and another for away games. For me,a very unprofessional and a haphazard approach to the Championships. The “hinge” half back/fly half understanding is paramount as link beween forwards and backs and yet who ever is fly half will have different scrum half for home and away games! I look forward to everyone else comments in this respect.

    1. I don’t see it being a problem because Steyn has a lot of experience with du Preez (Boks and Bulls). Plus, and most importantly, Pienaar will be 9. So, I only expect du Preez and van Zyl to get garbage minutes, which at that point, the match has already been won or lost.

      In terms of professionalism, I don’t know. Meyer has the right as the coach it to name the players he wants (though, I’m not sure the amount of say the SARU has now or if they have a selection committee). Obviously, he trusts du Preez to be able to get the job done, despite being in Japan.

      1. i thought similar about pienaar at the start.

        having said that, what is the logic of calling someone like Du Preez into the squad if you arent going to have him play.

        surely it would be better to have someone like Charl McLeod training with the squad. its better for player development, and it also means that the guy is around all the time.
        or even just have Van Zyl as the 9 options all the time.

        Cant remember if Francois Hougaard is injured or not. if he is, then du Preez may just be a stop gap, if Hougaard is fit, then surely he would be a better option too?

      2. Not sure I agree that subs come on only when games are won? I would say that most tests are so tight these days that subs come on at the most important times, when they are being decided.

        Still, I think it sends the wrong message to pick him, but they obviously think he can perform, and if he can, then he is a very good player.

        1. definitely agree regarding the comment about subs not coming on when a game is won/lost.

          so much has been made about modern rugby being a “squad game”. more often than not a bench is filled with “game changers” to be able to make a difference before its too late.

          take england for example. they view guys like Mako Vunipola and Courtney Lawes as impact player who can make a difference coming off the bench. In fact they are seen to be such good “impact players” that others will leapfrog them to starting spots. (Marler came into the starting team over Vunipola when Corbs was injured. Attwood started in Argentina over Lawes in the absence of Parling).

          there is no point in having guys like that on your bench if the game is already lost. you have guys like that to make a difference BEFORE the game is lost.

          1. Normally, I would agree with you, but I don’t think Meyer’s will use a tactical sub with 9. What I meant was that Pienaar will play the whole match unless he get injured or the match is out of hand. I looked at their games in the Championship last year and the 9 wasn’t not subbed once. In fact, in three of their games they didn’t even have 9 bench cover.

      3. I don’t know for sure, but I’m pretty sure the lack of bench cover was because Houggard was on the wing? So that would make sense – he only comes into 9 when there is an injury. But Houggard isn’t in this squad, so unless they have another utility back in the squad that can cover 9, they will definitely need a 9 on the bench.

        1. Yes, Houggard was playing wing for the last four matches and the Autumn internationals. He started the first two at 9. I was wrong about the 9 not being changed. Pienaar came in for a wing in the first two matches and Houggard moved to wing. Houggard is injured right now.

          I still have my doubts about Pienaar being tactically subbed because I think he’s the best 9 in the squad and I can see South Africa being very conservative regarding taking him out. I will probably be wrong, but I don’t see Meyer’s wanting to put in Fourie du Preez, Jano Vermaak, or Piet van Zyl at the expense of Pienaar.

  2. Simo! You must be a Sharks fan. Charl McLeod couldn’t even consistently start for the Sharks this year, never mind be considered for the Boks! Hougaard is injured, and word is Heyneke wants Du Preez for world cup contention. That being a bad idea from my point of view. Sarel Pretorius, Jano Vermaak and Piet van Zyl are talents you don’t want to through away hence NZ including Perenara, Kerr-Barlow and Aaron Smith and sacking regular but aging Weepu. What has astounded me was, to my liking, the inclusion of Duanne Vermeulen, and no Spies. Is he injured? I would have loved to have seen Labuschagne from the Cheetahs included. He was a demon possessed in the Cheetah’s charge for glory. Otherwise, I have to say that besides for the inclusions of the two dinosaurs upfront with Beast and Jannie this seems to be a good Squad!

    1. not a sharks fan, but admittedly i havent watched as much super rugby this year as i would have liked, so will accept the comment regarding others being more deserving than McLeod (i just saw he was the sharks 9 in the latter stages of the season and has been a bok squad member in recent times)

      Du Preez for the RWC is a poor choice. any of the names you said would be better. too much time away from international rugby makes it hard to come back (ala Robinson and Dallaglio for england in 07 RWC)

      Pienaar is definitely the way forward, with some of the other players as cover. Hougaard would be my option on the bench (brings something different to Pienaar) but he is injured (thanks for cluing me in on that one)

      I am a big fan of Vermeulen, and happy that he is fit again. Spies is injured from what i can gather (didnt play in the Semi for the bulls) which would explain his exclusion from the squad.

      I agree with moving the rugby on – like the ABs dropping Weepu. Although they hang on to McCaw as much as they can… slight double standards there. England did the right thing in looking to a new generation (much like the wallabies did a few years ago). the beauty is that if a crisis comes up, then you can call the old stagers back. BUT it should only be in a crisis, imo, you shouldnt bring the old bloke in if you have good youngsters. SA should be looking to the Vermaarks and Van Zyls first.

  3. I totally agree! NZ are burning their fingers and are trying the same “Snor” tactic in sticking with the old tenure by hanging on to John Smit for too long. Sam Cane and Matt Todd have had awesome seasons, and McCaw is becoming injury prone and aging. Its time to cut the strings and build on a new squad. The AB’s are riding high, but whats the average age of the squad. I bet it has to be close to 30.

    One thing that lights up my eyes about our backs are the excitement of JJ and Jan! Jean de Villiers is still good, but you have to make sacrifices. Smit vs Bismark! Leadership has to get given to a new and up coming star. People can say what they want but Jake White had the balls and the wisdom, and still does! What did the boks look like after “kamp staaldraad”. We were a nation humiliated, and he turned it around, new captain and Tri-Nation glory! In 2006 he had his downs, but with what in mind? 2007 World cup glory! Building a new team, knowing his older players weren’t gonna be the stars.

    SA has the stars to rule the world, Heyeneke just has to have the wisdom in ruling out the old with the new systematically and not letting the young talent run to other countries.

    1. SA did similar with Matfield.

      They relied so heavily on him for so long (and he remained the best – much like McCaw now) but they didnt develop much talent. which means when he eventually retired, SA didnt have a top no5 to come in.

      (Bakkies was banned enough that there was opportunities to develop 4’s). SA really need a good 5 to partner Etzebeth. Bekker is probably the best, but not only is he injury prone, he blows a bit hot and cold sometimes.

      what is the point in holding a Junior World Cup every year if you are just going to pick all the old guys who have pretty much retired from international rugby?

      France and Japan are where rugby career go to die, but you can make a pretty penny in the meantime.

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