So the Bok team is finally announced and true to form, our friend Peter has made more controversial calls than Steve Walsh with a whistle in hand. There was speculation, there was trepidation and there was huge anticipation as Thursday afternoon wore on. Lets face it there is always going to be controversy when the man who puts the Mo in vember takes his foot out his mouth and starts talking.
The real worry however is the lack of planning and mixed messages that the Paarl Pearler is sending out. Take young Deon Stegman and Zane Kirchner for example, lets for a minute not debate whether they should be there or not but rather the circumstances of their selection.
Stegman was selected in the initial preliminary squad after having had a brief cameo appearance off the bench for a well beaten Bulls team in the Currie Cup Semi-Final. You see he had been out injured since the 24th July 2010 so game time was lacking. He was not deemed good enough to make the final Bok squad that was announced and Keegan Daniel pushed his way in through sheer weight of his performances.
Schalk Burger was subsequently Lambied, Albertsed and Ludicked into another injury cloud and was withdrawn from the touring squad allowing Stegman to be called up as cover. Deon’s subsequent march to the front of the fetcher queue was quicker than Usain’s Bolt. Keegan must be left wondering, what did I just do wrong?
Zane Kirchner on the other hand was dropped from the Tri Nations team after some mediocre performances at fullback. He made the preliminary squad of 38 players but jettisoned from the initial touring squad. With Adi Jacobs called up to replace Juan De Jongh, Kirchner’s lucky break came when Ricky Januarie was also injured. Now even for Peter, its fairly bizarre to replace a scrum half with a fullback but anyway…
Side show Bob then went from being second choice fullback to the first choice outside centre and he also outstripped the other squad members to take his place in the starting XV versus Ireland. Were there other options? Hell yes. JDV, Piet’s 3rd choice winger has played a lot of rugby at 13 in the past and Adrian Jacobs has racked up a fair few tests there too.
So what’s this all about then you may ask?
For me it shows a complete lack of planning or vision which is more worrying than the actual selection faux pas we are getting so used to from the clown with a frown. If Stegman is better than Daniel then why wasn’t he included in the squad initially? Why call up Adi Jacobs in the first place if he is not trusted or fit enough to play in his natural position?
Any player will tell you all they want is consistency and fairness in selection. This is something that P Devil is not providing the Boks with.
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