Sushi selection dumbfounding

No official tighthead prop as backup to the hugely overplayed Janie du Plessis, while accepting terms as to when a player can and cannot play for the Boks from a Japansen club?

Tank Lanning

Put a fork in me, I am done!

“We’re very thankful to everyone at SARU and Suntory who made it possible to select Fourie,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

One has to wonder what has become of Springbok rugby when we are willing to accept terms from a Japanese rugby club that dictate when we may or may not use a player for the South African national rugby side?

This while we are willing to tell another player that he is only good enough for the overseas Rugby Championship Tests when said Japanese based player is needed for a sushi restaurant promotion in Japan …

Sure said player is one time Bok great Fourie du Preez, but he last played for the Boks in 2011, was not in great form at the time, and has been playing for a team that I am told would struggle to win he Varsity Cup.

While said standby player, Piet van Zyl, has played a huge role in the Cheetahs amazing Super Rugby success this year, and been part of the Bok squad behind standout scrumhalf Jano Vermaak.

It’s no wonder a prominent SA based player replied to a Tweet of mine on this saying that players get treated as assets overseas, but commodities here.

So players can head overseas, play less rugby, get paid more, be treated like assets, while still keeping their Bok jersey. This while asking the local guys to keep the foreign based player’s jersey warm when they are not released by their club. Pretty sure that model does not come from the HR book of best practice …

But that is just the appetizer … The Springbok selectors have named a 30-man squad that includes 5 props – understandable given that you are now required to have 2 of the flat eared folk on a bench of 8 … Not so understandable though, is that 4 of the 5 are loosehead props, meaning Coenie Oosthuizen will be the backup at 3.

It is difficult to fathom what Lourens Adriaanse has done wrong at tighthead given that he was not given a single second of game time in the June quadrangular, while Wiehahn Herbst seems to have fallen right out of favour after being called up to a camp. Pat Cilliers is making his way back from injury, but that did not stop the selectors from selecting Duane Vermeulen.

So instead of one of these 3 as backup to the monstrously overplayed Janie du Plessis in the squad, the selectors have gone with 4 looseheads, one of which is not powerhouse scrummager JC Janse van Rensberg, but France based Gurthro Steenkamp.

So one of the 4, most likely Oosthuizen, who has been the exact opposite of stellar in that position when tried there for the Cheetahs, will have to back up du Plessis on the bench. It is a very difficult selection to fathom, let alone explain.


  1. ‘mon now Tank….shewerly you cannot expect form to come into the selection process? Especially when Heinrich Brüssow is cast off to the international wilderness. With FduP’s inclusion and most likely selection, I hope the three-quarter line have been practicing their 50m sprints. And Shrek isn’t good enough to play tighthead at CC level, never mind international.

  2. I couldn’t agree more. As tough as it will be in the beginning, I believe we have to go the route of NZ. No players selected who are not playing in SA. No exceptions. In one or two cases it will be hard, but something needs to be done to keep players in SA. Not to mention the fact that 10 of the squad of 31 player will only join the team on the Monday before their first game! Maybe HM’s had a nervous breakdown.

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