Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
2 Jun 2014
6:00 am

Surprises in Bok squad

Rudolph Jacobs

Still keeping the nation in the dark on his new skipper, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer blended experience with youth in naming a 36-man squad for the four internationals starting this weekend against the World XV in Cape Town.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer during the Springbok training and media session at Northwood High School on May 26, 2014 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

Questions, though, must be raised over the omissions of players like star Lions flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff, Bulls flank Jacques du Plessis, Cheetahs flank Heinrich Brussow and Cobus Reinach.

Seven uncapped players were named in the squad, revealed on Saturday night, while veteran locks Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha, flank Schalk Burger and hooker Schalk Brits were recalled.

“Victor and Schalk have both been out of the game for some time and for different reasons,” said Meyer.

“A year ago, Schalk’s playing future was in doubt, so it’s great to have him back in the Bok fold and I’m looking forward to working with him for the first time.”

The seven uncapped players are Damian de Allende, Lood de Jager, Cornal Hendricks, Teboho Mohoje, S’bura Sithole, Marcel van der Merwe and Callie Visagie.

The inclusions of Visagie,, JJ Engelbrecht, and Zane Kirchner would have raised a few eyebrows.

“Damian, Cornal, Oupa, S’bura, Marcel and Callie have all been in great form recently for their various Vodacom Super Rugby franchises, while Lood was very impressive before his injury and he underlined that with a great attitude and work ethic at the Durban camp,” said Meyer.

Notable exclusions include captain Jean de Villiers, Eben Etzebeth, Jaque Fourie and Pat Lambie who are some of the 12 players on the injured list.

“It’s never easy starting the international season without a number of key players, but it’s the same for our opponents as well and there are no excuses,” said Meyer, who will name the interim captain this week.