Fisher the shock Baby Bok exclusion

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 25 Apr 2013 at 14:30
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

SA Under 20 coach Dawie Theron has included four Sharks juniors in his squad to contest the IRB Junior World Championship in France later this year, but has caused a few raised eyebrows in Durban by snubbing in-form centre Tyler Fisher.

Fisher, who has been in fine form in the Vodacom Cup this season, as well as eclipsing all others to top the try-scoring list in last year’s under 19 competition, has been omitted in favour of Bulls players Jan Serfontein and Dries Swanepoel, with WP’s Justin Geduld the third centre in the squad.

Prop Marne Coetzee is the only forward from the Sharks’ ranks to make the list, after number 8 Johan “Plank” Meyer also narrowly missed the cut.

The Sharks are well-represented at half-back though, with both Sharks XV scrumhalves, Hanco Venter and Stefan Ungerer, and flyhalf Rob du Preez all making the grade.

Bulls flanker Stoney Steenkamp leads the side, which includes Kings Super Rugby wing Sergeal Petersen, as well as Bulls flyhalf Handre Pollard.

The SA U20 squad is:

Andrew Beerwinkel (Blue Bulls, Prop)
Marne Coetzee (KwaZulu-Natal, Prop)
Aidon Davis (EP Kings, N0 8)
Luan de Bruin (Free State, Prop)
Jacques du Plessis (Blue Bulls, Lock)
Robert du Preez (KwaZulu-Natal, Flyhalf)
Ockert du Toit (Free State, Hooker)
Justin Geduld (SARU contracted, Centre)
Irne Herbst (Blue Bulls, Lock)
Jannes Kirsten (Blue Bulls, Lock)
Cheslin Kolbe (Western Province, Fullback)
Sylvian Mahuza (Leopards, Fullback)
Devon Martinus (Golden Lions, Prop)
Luther Obi (Leopards, Wing)
Sergeal Petersen (EP Kings, Wing)
Handrè Pollard (Blue Bulls, Flyhalf)
Seabelo Senatla (SARU contracted, Wing)
Jan Serfontein (Blue Bulls, Centre)
Sithembiso Sithole (Western Province, Prop)
Kwagga Smith (Golden Lions, Flank)
Roelof Smit (Blue Bulls, Flank)
Ruan Steenkamp (Blue Bulls, Flank)
Dries Swanepoel (Blue Bulls, Centre)
Stefan Ungerer (KwaZulu-Natal, Scrumhalf)
Hanco Venter (KwaZulu-Natal, Scrumhalf)
Dennis Visser (Blue Bulls, Lock)
Michael Willemse (Western Province, Hooker)
Percy Williams (Golden Lions, Scrumhalf)

Team Management

Dawie Theron – Head Coach
Jonathan Mokuena – Team Manager
Dr. Phatho Cele – Doctor
Brendan Venter – Assistant coach
Nazeem Adams – Assistant coach
Norman Laker – Video Analyst
Anuerin Robyn – Physio
Warren Adams – Fitness coach
Rayaan Adriaanse – Media Manager
Yusuf Jackson – SARU Rep


  • Well done to the yound guys. Always good to have some experience in such as squad. Not easy to make this squad more than once considering the age limit.

  • Comment 1, posted at 25.04.13 14:34:16 by Viking Reply
  • Means sweet f’all. Maybe he should try pronounce his name Visser and then he may fall in favor.

    If memory serves me right the same thing happened with Fredy.

  • Comment 2, posted at 25.04.13 14:51:04 by Talent Reply
  • Looking at the centres in the squad, is it really such a shock that this kid didn’t make the cut?

  • Comment 3, posted at 25.04.13 14:56:11 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 3) : I think he’s better than, and has achieved more than, Dries Swanepoel.

  • Comment 4, posted at 25.04.13 15:01:58 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : I hear you sista, suppose time will tell.

  • Comment 5, posted at 25.04.13 15:12:52 by McLovin Reply

  • Swanepoel is a class act. Fisher should have been selected ahead of Geduld or one of the lesser wings or fullbacks in that squad

  • Comment 6, posted at 25.04.13 16:11:23 by Saffex Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 6) :

    How do you follow junior rugby from the mud island?

  • Comment 7, posted at 25.04.13 16:14:37 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • who’s this WP hooker,i know Freddy the WP u19 hooker and captain from last year,but Michael Willemse???he never went to one u20 camp or on tour to argie and into the team,am i missing something 😳

  • Comment 8, posted at 25.04.13 16:16:35 by bobby 26 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • @bobby 26 (Comment 8) : Michael Willemse played for UCT in the Varsity Cup this year. Went to Grey High

  • Comment 9, posted at 25.04.13 16:27:25 by slammerboy Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @Pokkel (Comment 7) : My mum pushes the record button on a regular basis for me!!

  • Comment 10, posted at 25.04.13 16:30:50 by Saffex Reply

  • The other shock omission is prop Neethling Fouche

  • Comment 11, posted at 25.04.13 16:31:52 by Saffex Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 10) : and then?

  • Comment 12, posted at 25.04.13 16:38:40 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : πŸ˜†

  • Comment 13, posted at 25.04.13 17:02:05 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • Maybe the lack of game time cost Fisher a place?

  • Comment 14, posted at 25.04.13 17:12:45 by JD Reply
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  • @McLovin (Comment 3) : Fisher just played SA Schools, SA u18 Sevens, Vodacom Cup & was the top try scorer in the u19 Currie Cup last year. He also plays 11, 13 & 14. But who needs power, pace & a nose for the tryline. Its not like those things are important in rugby

  • Comment 15, posted at 25.04.13 17:49:42 by disgruntled shark Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : She sticks the disc in the post!!

  • Comment 16, posted at 25.04.13 17:50:18 by Saffex Reply

  • @disgruntled shark (Comment 15) : And the selected players?

  • Comment 17, posted at 25.04.13 17:53:44 by McLovin Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 16) : so if I’m nicer to you wil you send me copies?

  • Comment 18, posted at 25.04.13 18:10:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : Yeah, when I first arrived in the UK and they showed very little SA rugby, she used to have to post video tapes. I used to get a box full of videos of S12, CC and U20 games every few months.

  • Comment 19, posted at 25.04.13 18:20:10 by Saffex Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 17) : Fisher scored 13 tries in the u19 Currie Cup last year. Dries Swanepoel managed an incredible 3. Not that you want your number 13 to take the outside gap and score points or anything

  • Comment 20, posted at 25.04.13 18:37:00 by disgruntled shark Reply

  • @disgruntled shark (Comment 20) : Dries Swanepoel spent most of last season out with a knee injury

  • Comment 21, posted at 25.04.13 18:55:15 by Saffex Reply

  • My opinion is Swanepoel is selected based on his and Serfonteins centre partnership at school and hence his reputation. I think Fisher can feel hard done by.

  • Comment 22, posted at 25.04.13 19:46:05 by slammerboy Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @slammerboy (Comment 22) : agree with you completely, yes Dries looked a class player at school, but based purely on the last 16 months, Tyler Fischer any day

    Let’s not underestimate the power of Heyneke in these selections, he signed most of the Bulls current junior crop,so he pushes for them in these squads. He did the same with Pollard last year while Zeilinga was in great form

  • Comment 23, posted at 25.04.13 20:33:00 by Ludz Reply

  • @disgruntled shark (Comment 20) : None of the 3 centres can take an outside gap?

    How many ‘outside gaps’ did this Fischer boy take then? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 24, posted at 25.04.13 22:29:46 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 24) : Take it you missed Serfonteins outside gap against the Reds?

  • Comment 25, posted at 25.04.13 22:32:58 by Saffex Reply

  • @disgruntled shark (Comment 20) : Just playing devil’s advocate. πŸ™‚

    All the reasons being touted for Fischer’s ‘shock’ exclusion can just as well be applied as reasons why the others should be there. πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 26, posted at 25.04.13 22:33:05 by McLovin Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 25) : Seems I missed a lot of outside gaps. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 27, posted at 25.04.13 22:33:59 by McLovin Reply

  • @Ludz (Comment 23) : Agreed.

    I have no doubt that Heynecke calls the shots in these selections. Not the first and won’t be the last time that the Bulls influence at this level trumps performance on the field at U19 level.
    IMO this has been the primary reason since Eric Sauls tenure, and continued by dawie Theron that, notwithstanding last years home victory, our performance at this level has been well below par.
    I remember well the 2009 squad selection when the Sharks had won the U19 currie Cup in 2008, Bulls were not even in the playoffs but still dominated the squad with probaby twice as many players as us or the other finalists WP.
    Sadly influenced by nepotism and predjudice IMO.

  • Comment 28, posted at 25.04.13 22:35:06 by steve Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 27) : More to the point, given defences are so well organised these days and centres find much of their time in traffic, the chances of a centre being able to beat his man on the outside are pretty slim. In traffic its easier to execute and inside step

  • Comment 29, posted at 25.04.13 22:39:53 by Saffex Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : Really, and what exactly has he achieved that Dries Swanepoel hasn’t? Typical Sharks bias! Dries Swanepoel, was Jan serfontein’s centre partner at Grey, and together, they ripped all other centre pairings apart.

    He was out injured for a large part of last year, and that is maybe, why you are blissfully ignorant of his talent. I am not saying Fisher isn’t, just maybe the fact that, the two (Dries and jan) have played extensively together may have been a factor.

  • Comment 30, posted at 26.04.13 06:18:12 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @disgruntled shark (Comment 20) : Maybe that was because Dries swanepoel was injured for most of the year, but hey don’t let facts spoil your story. Go dig deeper, and see how dries Swanepoel played in the SA Schools team with Jan Serfontein, before just waffling!

  • Comment 31, posted at 26.04.13 06:20:40 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @Ludz (Comment 23) : Go watch Dries Swanepoel in the matches played against the Varsity Cup teams, that boy can play. I am not saying Tyler is a bad player, just that Dries is also a good player, and as slammerboy indicated, it’s probably his undertsanding with Jan Serfontein that swung the vote. Maybe you aren’t as aware of Swanepoel, because he was out injured for most of last year. The selectors however follow these boys for a few years

  • Comment 32, posted at 26.04.13 06:26:07 by KingCheetah Reply

  • Nobody is saying that Dries Swanepoel wasn’t a great player as a schoolboy, but this tournament is around the corner, lets look at current form.

    A couple of years ago Charl McLeod was THE form scrumhalf in the country, but you don’t see him pushing for Bok selection now, do you?

    Its a strong squad, but after seeing this, you cannot fault youngsters such as Fisher if they end up playing for Australia, England or France

  • Comment 33, posted at 26.04.13 07:58:39 by disgruntled shark Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 32) : @disgruntled shark (Comment 33) : Believe me I know Dries Swanepoel, I do know that Dawie Theron wanted to select them as schoolboys. They’ve always come with a big reputation. I also watched enough of him as a schoolboy to know he’s quality, but based purely on last year and I’d say this year, Tyler Fisher remains the FORM player. Schoolboy partnerships are gibberish when factoring in the enormity of the tournament they’ll play in

  • Comment 34, posted at 26.04.13 08:55:54 by Ludz Reply

  • @Ludz (Comment 34) : Thankfully sense prevailed – I think Grey stepped in and stopped it but it illustrates well how the selection process works. He (DT) was prepared to pick, at that stage 17 year old schoolboys on reputation (remember that this was ahead of that years Craven Week even), to play in the U20 WC in Italy. The nepotism and stupidity of that was almost beyond belief.
    For the record I rate Serfontein highly and think he will go all the way. Swanepoel was an outstanding schoolboy centre and they formed a great partnership at that level. He too has what it takes, based on what I have seen, to do well.
    But, I believe that there is a huge difference in standard between U18 Craven Week up to U19 and U21 Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup. The numbers of outstanding schoolboy players, picked for SA schools, who drop out even at U19 provincial level support this view.
    I had a look, out of interest, at the 2007 SA schools side picked after the CW in Stellenbosch – where are many of these talented choolboy stars now?
    Guys like Marnus Schoeman, Nick Koster and Earl Snyman stood out at that level and were considered by many as future Boks.

    01. Dale Chadwick (KwaZulu-Natal)
    02. Johan Oberholzer (Golden Lions)
    03. Julian Redelinghuys (Golden Lions)
    04. Marchand van Rooyen (Golden Lions)
    05. Cornell Hess (Blue Bulls)
    06. Marnus Schoeman (Blue Bulls)
    07. Roelof Pienaar (Free State)
    08. Nicolas Koster (Western Province)

    09. Rudy Paige (Capt, Golden Lions)
    10. Marnitz Boshoff (Pumas)
    11. Ompile Marotothe (Blue Bulls)
    12. Robert Ebersohn (Free State)
    13. Earl Snyman (SWD)
    14. Riaan Arendse (Eastern Province)
    15. Patrick Lambie (KwaZulu-Natal)


    16. Sibi Masina (Pumas)
    17. Coenraad Oosthuizen (Free State)
    18. Kene Ockafor (KwaZulu-Natal)
    19. Moeka Bolofo (Free State)
    20. Kelvano King (Eastern Province)
    21. Yondela Stampu (Blue Bulls)
    22. Hadley Smith (Free State)

  • Comment 35, posted at 26.04.13 11:49:40 by steve Reply

  • @steve (Comment 35) : interesting….

    only 1 bok there (Lambie) 6 years on.

    Ebersohn, Chadwick, Hess, Koster and Paige have played SR (although Hess only 1 game I think).

    Redelinghuys played a bit of CC for the Sharks and is now play VC for the Lions. I lose track with all the Boshoff’s…. is MArnitz also with the Lions now?

  • Comment 36, posted at 26.04.13 12:00:36 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 36) : Marnitz Boshoff is with the Lions. Nick Koster is at Bath and Marnus Schoeman is at Griquas – both were exceptional schoolboy talents.

    Coenie Oosthuizen is also a Bok.
    The OFS/Grey side that year were outstanding thrashing WP in the final game.
    Lambie was 17 that year and played SA Schools again in 2008. Regardless of that he was ignored in 2009 as a 19 year old by the SA U20 selectors while playing for the Sharks U21 side. A year later he was established in the Super Rugby side and a Bok.

  • Comment 37, posted at 26.04.13 12:26:03 by steve Reply

  • @steve (Comment 37) : oh sorry – Coenraad/Coenie…. missed that one. Oops.

    I get confused with all the Marnus’es as well πŸ™‚

  • Comment 38, posted at 26.04.13 12:46:16 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @steve (Comment 37) :
    You make excellent points. One of the reasons I dont really bother with the baby Boks is the rampant provincialism.

  • Comment 39, posted at 26.04.13 14:58:57 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 39) : you rang?

  • Comment 40, posted at 26.04.13 15:22:30 by robdylan Reply
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