The national selectors should use next month’s Springbok tour to expose talented young players to test rugby, says Lions coach Eugene Eloff.
Senior Springboks, with Western Province captain Jean de Villiers among them, should be given a break, Eloff said on Saturday night.
“I’d like to see the selectors and coaches choose players who have done well in the Currie Cup competition.
Rose will reach the top
“We know who the stars are with a view to next year’s Tri-Nations series and even the 2011 World Cup tournament. We should give some of our senior players a rest.”
Stephen Nell writes for Die Burger that the Springboks play Wales, Scotland and England on consecutive Saturdays in November.
“Let’s test ourselves and see which players can make it at the next level,” Eloff said.
“The country is full of talented players who can put their hand up for the next World Cup tournament.”
Among the Lions players who have the potential to play test rugby are loosehead prop Heinke van der Merwe, hooker Willie Wepener, flank Cobus Grobbelaar, versatile back Louis Ludik and scrumhalf Jano Vermaak, he said.
Eloff also believes flyhalf Earl Rose, who has struggled in the past two matches after some fine performances earlier in the season, will reach the top.
“Earl should play (Currie Cup rugby) for another season or so. He has all the potential,” the Lions coach said.
“We should be wary of creating another Chiliboy case,” he added, referring to promising Bulls hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle, who captained the Springboks briefly in 2006 but then dropped out of the national squad.
“Chiliboy was the best hooker in the world at his level when he was younger. One should bring players through systematically and let them play at the right time. You should not try to squeeze them ripe.”
Eloff does not believe the Springboks’ chances of winning the three test matches will go down the drain if younger players are selected for the tour.
“I believe we have enough potential to ensure we don’t lose those games.”Tweet