Frederick Michalak, of France, and former All Black Tony Brown, imported at great cost to play for the Sharks and the Stormers, are making it difficult for Peter de Villiers to select his Springbok flyhalf.
Article courtesy Morris Gilbert and News24.
The national coach said on Tuesday his main concern ahead of the selection of the team to play Wales was the lack of depth at No 10.
Imported players such as Michalak and Brown are denying potential contenders for the Springbok jersey much needed match exposure.
This makes it all the more difficult to determine which South African flyhalf is, based on form, the best man for the position at present.
When De Villiers was asked whether his concern meant he was considering Peter Grant for the No 10 jersey, the coach said Grant could be one of the candidates.
“I’d like to see him play more often, just as I would appreciate it if the Sharks gave Ruan Pienaar more exposure at flyhalf.”
Replying to a question about Francois Steyn’s chances of being the Springbok flyhalf, De Villiers said he was concerned that the young World Cup hero was becoming too versatile.
For that reason, he said, Steyn has not proven himself in one particular position this season.
“I do not know what his best position is. And I make no secret of the fact that I do not value versatility highly.
“For the Test matches against Wales I would like to start with a team in which every player is a specialist in his position,” De Villiers said.
The Springboks meet Wales in Bloemfontein on June 7 and a Pretoria a week later.
Speaking about the composition of the Springbok team, the coach said seven of the players who had been in the starting lineup for the World Cup final would, on present form, be in the run-on team against the Welsh.
“Some of the World Cup stalwarts made a slow start in the Super 14 but I am encouraged by the upward curve in their form.
“Take Bryan Habana. He was awesome in the Bulls’ last two matches. He is a special player who has the ability to help everyone around him lift their game.”
De Villiers said the team for the first Test against Wales would certainly contain some surprises.
“They may not necessarily be young in years but rather young in Springbok experience.”
De Villiers said it was “90 per cent” certain that Gary Gold and Dick Muir would be his assistant coaches but he would like to see them remain involved with their Super 14 franchises, the Stormers and the Sharks.
A new Springbok manager would probably be appointed this week, he added.Tweet