at the ground

The players, teams , issues involved with the Rugby World Cup 2015

Springbok selection: Is there a plan? The Springbok Baabaa’s squad


I have many questions to ask regarding the selections in the Springbok squad chosen to face the Babarians at Wembley on Guy Fawkes night .SARU is going to spend loads of money flying players over to London and in all probability many of them won’t get a look in.

30 players have been chosen for this Springbok squad which will play only 1 game against the Baabaa’s while another squad featuring some of these players has been chosen for the 3 Tests against England, Italy and Wales.


No plan AC brings the circus to town

Professionalism to me means you invest money into your venture hoping for a good return. The money get’s invested after a plan has been presented and some sort of theory or strategy forecasts how much that investment will grow.

I ask SARU what is the plan here?  The squad makes no sense. Lourens Adriaanse is the only player to be regularly selected at tighthead prop for his franchise in the squad. Any coach worth his salt knows that a team is built from the tighthead up. There are 4 loosehead props in the squad although Thomas du Toit and Trevor Nyakane have fitted in at tighthead before. Surely at international level professional coaches pick specialists rather than jack of all trades.

At hooker, 3 hookers have been selected.1 of these 3 definitely won’t be selected for this game. The current Springbok captain Adriaan Strauss  is in this squad. Surely if he is in the squad then that must mean coach Allister Coetzee wants him to play. This means one of Bongi Mbonambi or Malcolm Marx will warm the bench while the other doesn’t play at all. Why the hell would you bring that guy all this way just to tell him you not getting a game.

Is RG Snyman going to get a game as Lood de Jager, Eben Etsebeth and Pieter Steph du Toit are also in this squad? Snyman has been on the radar for a little while, he got a run in the SA A side that played against the England Saxons earlier in the year. Lood de Jager hasn’t been in the form he was in last year and has had a few injuries this yeart too. Eben Etzebeth wants to grapple with every player that threatens his manhood and then give them an evil smile, apart from grabbing rugby jerseys and smiling at players he hasn’t been performing well as far as playing rugby goes. Pieter Steph du Toit has had an excellent season and rightfully has won the 2016 SA rugby player of the year award. So once again what is the thinking here? Are you going to choose all four locks for matchday or are you going to play the new guy? Are you going to let the 2 young giants De Jager and Etzebeth play themselves into form? Snyman isn’t in the squad for the tests surely then he should get some gametime, shouldn’t he?

In the backrow (loose forwards) 3 players that play regularly at blinside flank have been chosen in Uzair Cassiem, Jean-Luc du Preez and Teboho Mohoje with probably Nizaam Carr playing at eighthman and Roelof Smit being the only real openside flanker. Mohoje probably being the most experienced out of the backrow forwards with 6 caps. I can’t see that balance has been thought about or how and if these guys are going to fit in with AC’s Domkrag gameplan.

3 scrumhalves have been chosen for this game and all 3 are in the other squad too. This I suppose makes sense but why choose 3 when you only need a maximum of 2 and the extra player could have been used to cover the openside flank or tighthead prop positions?

Pat Lambie and Tian Schoeman are the flyhalves, not bad? Not really? Tian Schoeman isn’t in the test squad but Elton Jantjies,  Johan Goosen and Patrick Lambie are. So I presume Lambie starts versus the Baabaa’s as AC wants this game to set the tone of the tour so surely it would be Lambie to start? Then how much time will Schoeman get on the field then? 20 minutes? What if it is tight? SARU you will pay for a player to fly all that way for 20 minutes or less of rugby??? Is this how professionals do business?

Jamba Ulengo is the only left wing selected. I guess he should be a certainty to start then, or have they got a plan to play someone out of position instead of him?

Ruan Combrinck and Seargel Pietersen are the right wings chosen and both have been included in the test squad. Combrinck is returning from injury and Pitersen has been in outstanding form all season.

At inside centre Damian de Allende has once again been chosen. de Allende has proven all year that he has no idea of creating space and putting other players into space which is a very important part of an inside centres game, yet we continue to see him represent the Springboks. Rohan Janse van Rensburg had intially been chosen for the Barbarians team itself instead he finds himself as part of AC’s circus. I can’t help but think AC chose Van Rensburg just to stop him playing for the Barbarians. Van Rensburg would have been better off playing for the Baabaa’s.

Jesse Kriel and Francois Venter have been chosen at outside centre. I want to see Francois Venter in a Bok top because he is a great player and has great heart, this would mean moving Jesse Kriel to fullback where he made his mark for the Bulls in the 2015 season.

I would prefer Kriel at fullback than Cheslin Kolbe. I can’t tell you how sick I am of hearing what an exciting player Kolbe is, how fast he is and what a good step he has. We never see him use this!!  He does what all Domkrag fullbacks do, they run it back a few paces then kick a huge bomb. I have seen Kolbe out jumped everytime I have watched him play making him a liability at the back under the high ball. I have seen him manhandled and stripped of the ball far too many times for him to warrant being selected for the Stormers never mind the Springboks. He may be courageous in that he throws himself at any player that runs at him but his physicality is so minimal that he gets swatted off like a pest. SARU is picking a player like Kolbe really good for transformation?

Why have South African journalists just sat there with a mouthful of teeth instead of questioning the lack of a plan and random selections and the continued destruction of SA Rugby due to non professional coaches and administration? I thought about calling them amateur but opted for non professional as the way they are doing things would be an insult even to amateurs.


2 thoughts on “Springbok selection: Is there a plan? The Springbok Baabaa’s squad

  1. Great analysis Steve, pity SARU does not have half the wit to work it all out. Have to wonder what happened at the great indaba other than a big breakfast and an early start to the cocktails…


  2. Pingback: Why select players for a tourwith no intention of playing them? SARU continues to waste money. | at the ground

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