Richard Ferguson

An ideal opportunity

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 29 Oct 2012 at 10:07
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Springbok squad selected to tour is filled with a mixture of experience and youth, and with a few new players in the setup, will Heyneke Meyer continue with the tried and tested in Morne Steyn, or will he use this tour as a license to try the untested.

A squad of 31 players will be joined by one other as they head into the final three games of the year, before taking a bit of a break over Christmas and then doing it all over again. Certain players are fortunate enough to be resting already, with the likes Schalk Burger, Bryan Habana, Bismarck du Plessis, Frans Steyn, Pierre Spies and Andries Bekker getting an extended, albeit injury enforced, break.

This tour, being played against Ireland, Scotland and England, presents a great opportunity for Heyneke Meyer to try some new combinations, as those that he had in mind are clearly not working. There is no series loss to worry about, or poor showing in a Rugby Championship, so he should be able to pick just about any team he pleases and get away any results over those three weeks.

My worry is that Meyer is concerned about keeping his job and as a result will stick to his game plan and his prior selections, stringing along the new and uncapped players only to carry tackle bags and make up the numbers.

From his squad, I have a clear idea who I would have selected if it were up to me, but I fear we will see the return of Morne Steyn to the starting line-up, with very few other changes being made to the team that went down to the All Blacks in Soweto.

Here is the team that I would have selected to take to the field against Ireland, and in brackets the starting team that I suspect Heyneke Meyer will select:

1.Beast Mtawarira (Beast Mtawarira)
2.Chiliboy Ralepelle (Adriaan Strauss)
3.Pat Cilliers (Jannie du Plessis)
4.Eben Etzebeth (Eben Etzebeth)
5.Juandré Kruger (Juandré Kruger)
6.Francois Louw (Francois Louw)
7.Marcell Coetzee (Willem Alberts)
8.Duane Vermeulen (Duan Vermeulen)
9.Ruan Pienaar (Ruan Pienaar)
10.Elton Jantjies (Morné Steyn)
11.Lwazi Mvovo (Lwazi Mvovo)
12.Jean de Villiers (Jean de Villiers)
13.Juan de Jongh (Jaco Taute)
14.JP Pietersen (JP Pietersen)
15.Jaco Taute (Zane Kirchner)

Just to point out some of the thinking in putting together my version of the squad –
Chiliboy is a more dynamic hooker than Strauss, and I feel he will be a better backup to Bismarck once the big guy is back.
We know what we have in Jannie, and Jannie has had a massive workload all season, so I would give Cilliers a crack at it to see if he can do the job.
Willem Alberts has had a long season as well, and from the Currie Cup Final, one can see he is tired and also rather one dimensional at the moment, whereas Coetzee can add something special on that side of the scrum.
My views on Elton have been made public on many occasions, and I will stick with that. Pat Lambie is definitely my backup to Elton in this team, and also the reason I have not selected him at fullback.
Juan de Jongh is a centre and should play there, not a young fullback. Simple really.
Taute over Kirchner – don’t think I have to explain that to anyone.


  • Interesting selections by you Richard.

    I will differ on a couple of points.

    The NH teams traditionally have very strong scrums and I’m not sure Pat Cilliers is up to that level yet.

    I might pick Schalk Brits instead of Strauss or Chilliboy.

    I would pick Lambie purely because I think he will handle the pressure and conditions better.

    I would take a chance with Taute at 15(if a dry game is expected)

  • Comment 1, posted at 29.10.12 10:15:26 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Zane is not the only fullback in the squad – what about Taute? Lambie is unfortunately also listed as a fullback (first) / flyhalf.

    Personally I would give both Lambie and Jantjies equal chance at 10 even though my preference would be Lambie at 10. I do not want to see Lambie play at fullback – he is a flyhalf.

  • Comment 2, posted at 29.10.12 10:16:42 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 1) :

    The Taute selection is fullback is something I didn’t even think about, and will update my squad accordingly.

    The conditions will have a major influence on the team selected, I agree. Brits is a good option as he knows the conditions, so yes, I would involve him in some way – but I really want to see Chiliboy in that front row and proving himself.

  • Comment 3, posted at 29.10.12 10:18:24 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Pokkel (Comment 1) : I agree, why not give Taute a crack at fullback.

    I hated that try De Jongh scored in the CC final but I can’t see too many other centres in the country being able to do that.

    I agree with Richard’s Pat Cilliers choice, I reckon Jannie must surely be exhausted. Give the smiling tighthead a break.

  • Comment 4, posted at 29.10.12 10:22:14 by Orelando_G Reply

  • Unfortunately I think we will be stuck with Morne at 10. Pity the judicial panel did not have any [email protected] and sentenced him to 1 game off as opposed to 1 week.

  • Comment 5, posted at 29.10.12 10:26:51 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Conditions and the gameplan will also have a big influence on the team selected.

  • Comment 6, posted at 29.10.12 10:28:04 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Ideal opportunity would be to have Lambie at 10 and see what he brings to the table.

    We’ve seen Morné’s game this year, and in all honesty if not for his kicking ability in 2009/2010/2011 he’d be just as average as this year.

    Elton should probably be afforded a few more opportunities to dismiss the misconception that he has what it takes at international level. Without Spencer holding his hand, he is at best a typically average fh – as he proved in the 2010 junior rwc, he has been on a downward curve since Spencer left the Lions.

    I’m not sure which box Lambie still needs to tick:

    Defense: check
    Attack: check
    Attacking kicks: check
    Defensive Kicks: check
    especially under extreme pressure: double check
    Kicks at goal: check – please tell which player has proven himself at international level this year? So why discount Lambie? Because of the perception that he can’t kick at goal?
    X-factor: check
    BMT: check
    Consistency: check

  • Comment 7, posted at 29.10.12 10:43:32 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Hi, this is my first post here although I often visit here. I hope another Lion is welcome now that the provincial competitions are done with.

    It is wrong to think that “any result will do”. It is in fact vital that we do well on the tour.

    The draw for the 2015 RWC is on 3 December and will be based on rankings after the matches on 1 December.

    At the moment the points spread between #2 (Australia) and #6 (Wales) is only about 4 points so we really cannot afford any losses given that the other teams have some “easy” games.

  • Comment 8, posted at 29.10.12 10:44:54 by Baylion Reply

  • I just can’t get myself to look forward to this tour…
    Don’t really care if the Boks win or lose…

  • Comment 9, posted at 29.10.12 10:46:03 by SharksRTB Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 8) :

    Welcome to the site!

    Lions are always welcome.

    You make an interesting point regarding the RWC draw. I always want see the Boks win, and I am of the opinion that even if we do play some of our second choice players, we will be strong enough to walk away with three victories..

  • Comment 10, posted at 29.10.12 10:48:57 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 10) : We traditionally struggle on EOYT. 3 out of 3 will be a tough ask.

  • Comment 11, posted at 29.10.12 10:52:03 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Still no Ludik in squad!I would have selected Sarel Pretorius over Jano Vermaak & Keegan over Arno Botha.
    @Richard Ferguson (Comment 3) : Great that you want to select Taute over Sideshow Bob,but the NH teams will read him like a book because he telegraphs most of his moves IMO.Pat ahead of Jantjies & Steyn at FH.Chilliboy is a better bet than Strauss, but Brits is much more hands on & versatile ala Bismarck & Fourie.
    @Baylion (Comment 8) : Welcome.Your sentiments about the results are echoed by me. The attitude of going into a game with the “result doesn’t matter” mentality will lead to our undoing and fall from grace.

  • Comment 12, posted at 29.10.12 11:10:05 by markm Reply

  • Flo got injured this weekend and might not be available for the Boks EOYT?

    This is VERY bad news!

  • Comment 13, posted at 29.10.12 12:11:05 by Pokkel Reply
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