Injuries have curtailed the involvement of centre Frans Steyn and loose forward Jacques Potgieter in this weekend’s Rugby Championship test match against the All Blacks in Soweto. As reported yesterday, Steyn’s injured ankle will require surgery and he’ll be out for three months, while Potgieter picked up an abdominal injury playing for the Bulls in the Currie Cup and is also out of contention.
Heyneke Meyer has once again baffled with his selection approach in replacing the players, opting for Currie Cup form in the case of Lions centre Lionel Mapoe, summoned to replace Steyn in the squad. There has been no such nod to form in finding a replacement for Potgieter, though, with Keegan Daniel again overlooked, despite standing out head and shoulders above any other loose forward in the Currie Cup since being cut from the squad a month back.
Meyer has instead opted to push the “default button” and included an untested Blue Bull, in the form of Arno Botha. Making the decision even more galling is the fact that Daniel completely overshadowed Botha in a direct contest when the Sharks beat the Blue Bulls in Durban on Friday night.
Meyer has defended the inclusion of Botha by pointing to his selection for the Bok “young guns” squad earlier in the season; thus he maintains this selection is about continuity, rather than form. Why then was JJ Engelbrecht not afforded the same opportunity and called up ahead of Mapoe? It’s not as though he did any more wrong in his scant Test opportunity against Argentina than Daniel did…
I wonder if the persistent rumours linking Mapoe to a Bulls move next season have anything to do with his selection…Tweet