Eben to Bismark: Die bus is vol!

31 Jul

As a Stormers fan, I don’t really want to talk about what happened in the semi final or anything about the Stormers for that matter, allow me time to grieve. This video of Etzebeth bouncing Bissie is something that makes me smile though, it helps in some small way to alleviate the pain. Credit to Bismark though for completing the game and to the rest of the Sharks for making it to the SupeRugby final.

By the way, this incident also reminded me of the famous Schalk Burger landing a big hit on his mate, Fourie Du Preez in a Currie Cup game at Newlands. If I remeber correctly, it was also a home semi final…

Rugby, love it!

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Sona Taumalolo vs Crusaders: Friday, 6 July 2012

10 Jul

This past weekend in SupeRugby produced a Cracker of a game down in Hamilton where the Chiefs took on the Crusaders. Probably one of my favourite moments of the match was when Chiefs prop, Taumalolo took the gap and outsprinted Richie McAw and gave Israel Dagg a run for his money. Check the highlights in this YouTube video of the match. The Taumololo sprint shows from about he 48 second mark.

Incredible stuff from the top try scoring front ranker.

Heyneke’s Springboks – Report Card

28 Jun

So it has been a while… This is my view on the recent English winter tour to South Africa:

Firstly I wish to congratulate Heyneke, Jean and the rest of the Springboks for a 2-0 series victory of the English. While there were a few points for concern and unhappiness surrounding the Boks after the final game in PE, we should not forget that Heyneke and his management team only had one week to assemble before that first Test in Durban. A lot has been written and said about the Heyneke so I don’t really feel the need to go in depth with my analysis of his first Test series. But here are a few opinions I deem important going into the inaugural Rugby Championship with Argentina, Australia and old foe’s New Zealand:

 

1)      Heyneke did well in his first series as Springbok coach. Two decent wins and a disappointing draw is nothing to throw toys out the cot for. While we should’ve whitewashed those English roses we can still feel encouraged by the performances in the first two Tests. Meyer should take it in his stride and know that he doesn’t have to be too hard on himself. The public and media will do that for him. I do admire the standards set by the coach and feel this will only bring out the best in future Springboks. That said, is it healthy for him to take this job so seriously?

2)      We cannot play rugby with a single game plan in mind. While our big-bashing game can win us matches, we need to be able to adapt better and quicker in the field of play when we are not dominating. The problem here is I don’t believe we have the players in certain positions to be able to do that at the moment.

3)      Adding on to my third point. I believe Heyneke needs to know when it is time to cut ties with those players with whom he has built great trust and dependence on. He will need to start trusting all 22 players who he picks to do that job. I use the final Test as an example when Morne Steyn was just having a poor day at pivot. Elton Jantjies was named on the bench as replacement but was never called on to do his duty. This was not a matter of giving the guy an opportunity to prove his worth; instead it was a matter of allowing Jantjies to fulfill his responsibility as a direct replacement for Morne Steyn. I get that Meyer chose to trust Morne (whom he has known and coached for a long time) to guide the Boks to a victory because let’s face it; coaches putting their trust in players is of utmost importance in getting the best out of them. Meyer will need to learn to let go…

4)      We still miss Fourie Du Preez. As much as I want to believe that Hougie is ready for the big time, he isn’t and doesn’t compliment Morne Steyn as well as Fourie did. Pienaar showed enough maturity and experience to lead us into the Rugby Championships. Early days though but Heyneke will need to work with Hougaard to use him best for the Boks.  Playing off our scrumhalf exclusively is not working, variety is needed!

5)      Injuries will remain a big concern. If we don’t have a full pool for Meyer to pick from, our next best is not always good enough. With all the talent around in SA, we still seem to stuff them around and not afford them the necessary opportunities to develop and reach their full potential. This is an apprehension for Meyer but it’s a job that is left in the hands of the union coaches. For South Africa’s sake, contracting youngsters needs to be monitored so that all our talent coming through is given fair opportunities. This is a topic I’d like to discuss in a later post…

6)       When things went right for us in the first two Tests, we looked pretty unstoppable. It was great to see some of our stalwarts in JP Pieterson, Bryan Habana, Bismark Du Plessis and Jean De Villiers play some good rugby. Class is permanent and it was evident in the way these guys stepped up to formerly take on their roles as senior players. It was refreshing also to see the likes of Etzebeth, Kruger and Coetzee not allow the opposition to dominate them as they worked tirelessly to establish themselves as strong men worthy of Bok colours.

 

It was great to watch Bok rugby again and no matter how much rugby is around at the moment, there is just something special about a Springbok Test. I also thoroughly enjoyed the return of proper tours with England having two midweek games against regional sides scheduled. Going forward I expect Meyer to not go too far from what has worked for him but I’d like to see him go out of his comfort zone from time to time. I’d like to see him pick the small guy instead of the big guy because he wants to use the width of the field at times. All in all, a satisfactory 7 out of 10 for Meyer and his Boks; and he should feel pleased. But know there is a still a few aspects of our game to fix and make right as we strive for the perfect balanced game to dominate world rugby.

Springboks get ready for the English

5 Jun

So Heyneke Meyer has finally picked his squad to do battle in a three match test series against England. Much has been written about his selections and what he has based his selection criteria on. I for one of many was not entirely happy when the squad was announced after the north-south derby in Pretoria. But after allowing my emotions to settle down which were intensified in the overwhelming game in which my beloved Stormers won, I could see method in Meyer’s madness. I’m still firm in my stance about a few of his selections but I feel that the match 22 that Meyer will select would pretty much be similar to mine for the English.

Before I give my views on the Springbok squad, lets first have a look at Meyer’s chosen 32:-

Backs : Bjorn Basson, Jean de Villiers, JJ Engelbrecht, Bryan Habana, Francois Hougaard, Elton Jantjies, Zane Kirchner, Patrick Lambie, Lwazi Mvovo, Wynand Olivier, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Frans Steyn, Morne Steyn, Jano Vermaak.

Forwards : Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Keegan Daniel, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Ryan Kankowski, Juandre Kruger, Werner Kruger, Beast Mtawarira, Coenie Oosthuizen, Jacques Potgieter, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Pierre Spies, Adriaan Strauss, Flip van der Merwe, Franco van der Merwe.

Promising players to train with the Boks : Frans Malherbe, Siya Kolisi , Arno Botha, CJ Stander, Piet van Zyl and Francois Venter.

 

Just how I like my box (ks) – BLUE

 

So let’s start off with what I like:

I like the fact that Meyer has picked a few young players to train and tour with the squad. Just being with the Boks in a week leading up to a test match will equip these youngsters with some good lessons and allows them to gain some experience. Hell, we can only imagine the great step up from Super Rugby to Test level rugby. These guys are being given a taste of what it means to be a Springbok and I have no doubt that it will leave them licking their lips and wanting more. I also like the fact that Eben Etzebeth is in the squad after a brilliant start to his Super Rugby career. The 20 year old could form a strong and exciting partnership with Juandre Kruger for the Boks. The last positive in this squad for me is the inclusion of Frans Steyn and Ruan Pienaar. The two experienced Boks have had a strong season for their respective teams up north and should fit right in with the Boks with ease. The come to cover positions where not many Bok contenders playing in South Africa have put their hands up.

The selections I don’t get:

Ryan Kankowski. How much rugby has he played this? Besides the fact that he has been injured for the majority of the Super Rugby campaign, he hasn’t been in the best of form for the past two years (shit, I don’t even remember him going to the World Cup?). While Meyer has voiced his decision to not include Heinrich Brussouw for understandable reasons, I can’t see how those justify the inclusion of Kanko at the expense of Brussouw who has the necessary experience that Meyer seeks but who also plays the fetching role better than most loose forwards in SA. If not Brussouw, Meyer had the opportunity to reward Siya Kolisi with a squad selection. I’m not too perturbed by Kolisi losing out because I feel that he will be given his opportunity sometime later in the year. It’s good that he gets to tour with the squad though. Another selection that has left me puzzled in the inclusion of JJ Engelbrecht at centre. JJ is one of my favourite wings in this country but the Bulls have been employing him at outside centre. He isn’t an outside and they shouldn’t try and turn him into one. JJ could possibly be a Bok one day but he did not deserve to be chosen ahead of the experienced Juan de Jongh at centre or Gio Aplon who could cover wing or fullback. JJ should’ve been asked to tour with the squad with the promising players. The final puzzle piece that does not fit in the Bok puzzle is Jano Vermaak. Not this year, not now. He was in fine form a few years back and maybe should’ve got his chance then but now he is playing second fiddle to Hougaard at the Bulls and will play 3rd fiddle behind Hougaard and Pienaar. He doesn’t have the size or experience Meyer has branded his team on. I do admit though that no one, including Hougaard has set the world alight with their performances this year.

So what now? Meyer has made his picks; he has selected the men who will represent him and all of South Africa. Let’s not forget also that Heyneke has not had it easy to form his team because of the prolonged Super Rugby tournament. He has had some serious injuries to influential players who would’ve probably been the first names in his squad (Schalk Burger, Andries Bekker, Duane Vermeulen). He has also been turned down by former Springbok giants Fourie Du Preez and Jaque Fourie. As much as we may not like his selections, I feel that he has some valid reasons. He is one of the most successful coaches in the South African game and I think we owe it to him to at least see how the Springboks fair in their first test series under him.

Dear Stormers (part 2)

23 May

So here I am again, writing to my beloved Stormers. In my first letter, I duly apologized for my lack of support in the early rounds of the Super Rugby tournament. While this letter may have a different tone you need to know that I am still behind you 100%.

I feel you are doing an injustice to what the Stormers/Western Province and rugby in the Cape as a whole stand for. I also feel that you are doing an injustice to yourselves, as talented, skillful rugby players who enjoy playing rugby in its true sense. I understand that the game has changed; the pressures to perform and win a trophy are great, especially after having not won any senior trophy in the last decade. I get that winning the game is first priority. While I credit and praise you for winning 10 of your 11 games to date in a tough competition in which you have to play your conference teams twice (local SA derbies are not easy tasks), I can’t help but feel like I’ve lost a little something after I’ve watched you play.

After Saturday’s game against the Waratahs I was left in a rather annoyed state. I didn’t enjoy the rugby much and on top of the boring, short-sighted tactics you employed, it was not carried-out effectively. Coach, you said that bonus points don’t matter if we win all our games… The problem is, I don’t think we’ll be able to beat a Crusaders outfit in full flow or even a Bulls team who are firing on all cylinders. I do not doubt your abilities, because we have enough talent in this squad to take any team on no matter what form they are in. We have Springboks, we have players who were once the best in the world, we also have some special talented youngsters coming through. I believe winning a Super Rugby tournament is about building momentum and I fear we are not doing this. I was speaking to a friend after the game and he reminded me of what his coach once said: “You learn more from losing than from winning badly.” In other words, sometimes our deficiencies are hidden behind our winning results. He also said that we (The Stormers) are dishing the same kak the Lions are dishing out, we are just ending up as the winners. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t disagree with him. You do deserve some credit for winning as I said before, because we know it is not easy to perform week after week. So I write to you to plead that you fix your deficiencies. You showed glimpses of what you are capable of. Let’s fine tune our deficiencies and build momentum as we head on to the final stages of the competition.

I’m not asking you to score four tries every week. All I want is to feel confident knowing that you’ll be able to beat any strong team in top form. Maybe as a supporter, I am still failing and not living up to expectations as a true Stormer but know that I am behind you all the way, win or lose!

 

This is how we used to roll

Thank you Sir

21 May

In recent events, we have heard some disturbing news of stupid behaviour by parents, coaches and players in school boy rugby. Some light in this dark period of school rugby is brought by the headmaster of Wynberg Boys High School. The following letter was published on rugby365.com website recently.

 

Of all Mankind’s great inventions, few have succeeded in capturing the imagination more that sport. Soon we are about to witness the greatest sporting pageant of all, the spectacular Summer Olympic games. Sport has a fascination for all of us. It has the power to inspire, to enthuse, to entertain.

It is ironic on the eve of the greatest sporting show on earth, that the local newspapers have been filled with the shenanigans on school rugby fields. Referees have been denigrated, player behaviour condemned and parental and coach over-reaction censured. The notion that ‘sport’ is a pleasurable pastime has been sidelined. The camaraderie, the fellowship of sport, triumph over adversity, the lessons of defeat, the hard work in accomplishing victory have been forgotten in the heat of recrimination.

Somehow in it all, we have forgotten that in the hierarchy of values of a school, sportsmanship must be ranked only marginally below scholarship. Adults, including coaches, parents and referees, should be unified in ensuring the time-honoured ethics of sport are maintained on our school sports fields – to play hard, but fairly; to accept defeat and smile when shaking the hand of an opponent; to be competitive but at the same time co-operative because, without your opponent, there is no game.

A few years back, a local journalist, disillusioned after a disappointing Stormers game wrote that from now on he would be only watching school rugby. ‘It has a youthful innocence,“ he said, “unsullied by cups, leagues and points.”

And he is correct. Schoolboy rugby teams tend to play with enthusiasm and passion and, when well-coached, with an absence of fear. Coaches of schoolboy rugby sides who release their players from negative and safety first tactics soon find their players revelling in the positive enjoyment of displaying their talent.

It is these coaches who have realised the true reason why we play sport at school. It is not played for the benefit or the glory of the school or the egos of the coaches, or the ambitions of the parents – it is played for the benefit of the players.

Whatever the level of the schoolboy player, we want him to learn the lessons of sport – because they are lessons of life. In the end, these lessons will develop confidence and self esteem in the player and he will learn, as a young sportsman, that bitterness and sweetness are opposite sides of the same coin.

As he advances through high school, the young sportsman soon realizes that the natural ability which carried him through Junior School is no longer enough. As the competition becomes keener, those players start coming to the fore who were lucky enough to learn the lessons early in their school lives that only commitment to hard work and the ability to fight back from disappointments, are the foundations for a successful sporting life.

Sometimes these lessons are learnt more effectively after losing a match or being dropped to a C or D team. Schoolboys do not easily learn messages from winning because they fail to examine their performance as they bask in the congratulatory glow of parents and friends.

On the other hand, losing really does say something about a young sportsman. His reaction to a loss is important. Does he blame others? Does he complain about bad luck? Does he analyze his failure? Does it increase his determination?

In the book, ‘The Hansie Cronje Story’ by Garth King, the author remarks that Hansie never lost a rugby game in his career at Grey College. One can only wonder what lessons Hansie missed because of that.

The role of parents in the development of any sportsman is vital. In my career as a sports coach and schoolmaster, I have seldom come across a truly successful schoolboy sportsman who was not well parented. Parental support, as opposed to parental pressure, invariably determines whether a young player will learn the proper lessons. Some time ago, I sent the following advice to parents:

• Support your son and attend the matches, whatever side he is in.

• Always be there for him, especially in the ‘down times’.

• By all means set the bar for him – but always praise his achievements especially when he has tried hard to reach this bar.

• Praise effort and commitment – much more than results.

• Never criticise the Coach as it will confuse the players. It not only divides loyalty, but offers and excuse. Don’t fall for the common South African sporting curse of blaming the coach or referee.

• Never over-emphasize winning as it will only lead to a fear of failure. One of the curses of schoolboy sport is an unbeaten season.

• Do not relive your own sporting career (or lack of it!) through your son. This leads to frustration and disappointment on both sides.

• Be a true sporting spectator. Let the referee handle the game and let your son make his own mistakes. He will learn more that way.

All parents want what is best for their sons – but then so does every coach and every school. If we expect our players to behave like sportsman on the field, then it is important for adults not to behave like children on the sidelines.

Some years ago in America, the authorities imposed a noise ban on parents and coaches in the Northern Ohio Girls Soccer league. Spectators were instructed to keep their cheers and criticism to themselves.

Some parents waved signs; others put duct tape over their mouths to stay quiet. Goals and saves were met by smiles and nods of approval from parents and coaches. This was an effort to put sport back into perspective after rowdy parents disrupted games and frustrated players. Presumably the point was made – but it was not reported whether these measures had a lasting impact!

There is no doubt that sport can play a pivotal role in education and it is our job as parents and teachers to help our children cope with the pressures of today’s highly competitive world.

As we marvel at the proficiency and expertise of the athletes at the upcoming Olympics, let us at the same time applaud the commitment which saw them reach the pinnacle of sporting success. Yet, somewhere in their past, I hope they too, had a coach like I had, who once said to me: “The next sixty minutes you are about to play will never be repeated. Make the most of every minute.”

KC RICHARDSON
HEADMASTER
WYNBERG

Why we play the game

21 May

Recently, I came across a beautiful poem on www.frontrowgrunt.co.za about rugby. So for those who have had the pleasure of experiencing the game of rugby through playing or just by getting heavily involved through your support and admiration, enjoy!

 

By Rupert McCall

When the battle scars have faded
And the truth becomes a lie.
And the weekend smell of liniment
… Could almost make you cry.

When the last ruck’s well behind you
And the man that ran now walks
It doesn’t matter who you are
The mirror sometimes talks

Have a good hard look old son!
The melon’s not that great
The snoz that takes a sharp turn sideways
Used to be dead straight

You’re an advert for arthritis
You’re a thoroughbred gone lame
Then you ask yourself the question
Why the hell you played the game?

Was there logic in the head knocks?
In the corks and in the cuts?
Did common sense get pushed aside?
By manliness and guts?

Do you sometimes sit and wonder
Why your time would often pass
In a tangled mess of bodies
With your head up someone’s arse?

With a thumb hooked up your nostril
Scratching gently on your brain
And an overgrown Neanderthal
Rejoicing in your pain!

Mate – you must recall the jersey
That was shredded into rags
Then the soothing sting of Dettol
On a back engraved with tags!

It’s almost worth admitting
Though with some degree of shame
That your wife was right in asking
Why the hell you played the game?

Why you’d always rock home legless
Like a cow on roller skates
After drinking at the clubhouse
With your low down drunken mates

Then you’d wake up – check your wallet
Not a solitary coin
Drink Berocca by the bucket
Throw an ice pack on your groin

Copping Sunday morning sermons
About boozers being losers
While you limped like Quasimodo
With a half a thousand bruises!

Yes – an urge to hug the porcelain
And curse Sambuca’s name
Would always pose the question
Why the hell you played the game!

And yet with every wound re-opened
As you grimly reminisce it
Comes the most compelling feeling yet
God, you bloody miss it!

From the first time that you laced a boot
And tightened every stud
That virus known as rugby
Has been living in your blood

When you dreamt it when you played it
All the rest took second fiddle
Now you’re standing on the sideline
But your hearts still in the middle

And no matter where you travel
You can take it as expected
There will always be a breed of people
Hopelessly infected

If there’s a teammate, then you’ll find him
Like a gravitating force
With a common understanding
And a beer or three, of course

And as you stand there telling lies
Like it was yesterday old friend
You’ll know that if you had the chance
You’d do it all again

You see – that’s the thing with rugby
It will always be the same
And that, I guarantee
Is why the hell you played the game!

Video

Timothy Swiel – Bishops

15 May

The exciting Tim Swiel, could be the spark needed in the WP setup

Bok Barometer – April

15 May

Second full month of Super Rugby is behind us already… The tournament is moving on and it is taking its toll on the players with each team boasting a number of injuries, with some being seriously detrimental for national aspirations.

I may seem obsessed, but the age group talent in South Africa is ridiculous (in a good way). There have been a number of encouraging performances from the young guns in recent weeks against the best of Australia and New Zealand teams. With Heyneke Meyer also concluding his “Springbok Camps” with all invitees, there seems to be a healthy mix of young and old.

I have to say that I am one who would very much pick a talented youngster over an experienced player who is not up to form. Heyneke Meyer seems to have got it right though… He is developing the talented young guns and has already created sound structures. For all the hype around Johan Goosen, one of the many talented prodigies, Heyneke has handled him well. Goosen attended the camp and was told to work on his tactical kicking. He was also named in the SA u20 squad to compete in the IRB Junior World Championship in June which would keep him out of Springbok contention. Unfortunately, he has since injured his shoulder which has ruled him out for some time. There is no doubt that he will be the man to pivot the Springbok backline for years to come. I am sure the players themselves appreciate being told where they stand and what needs to be done in order to achieve their goals.

As before, here are a few standout performers from each team before my Bok 22:-

Stormers

The 20 year old trio of Etzebeth, Kitshoff and Kolisi continue their impressive form in Super Rugby. Kitshoff has been included in the SA under 20 squad which means he will not be a part of the Springbok squad for the England series. I believe Etzebeth will earn a Springbok cap but I am not as confident for Kolisi. All three players still have some valuable experience to gain and there is time for them to develop. Peter Grant has performed admirably at flyhalf while Joe Pieterson continues to impress at fullback. Gio Aplon has been hampered by injuries but always sparks when he is on the field. Duane Vermeulen has got to be one of the unluckiest guys in the world. I am sure Heyneke Meyer is licking his wounds with the news that Duane has been ruled out until after the England series.

 

Sharks

The disappointment of the season so far for me… The Sharks have not stepped up. I can only think of three noteworthy players this month – Tim Whitehead, Bismark Du Plessis and Patrick Lambie. Nothing further to say…

Bulls

Juandre Kruger continues to marshal the lineouts with the help of Chilliboy Ralepelle. Basson has also had a great season so far with his skills in under the high ball and his relentless chasing. Dean Greyling along with CJ Stander have also impressed.

Cheetahs

Adriaan Strauss, probably the most unlucky player to have played in the same era as John Smit and Bismark Du Plessiss. He has been his usual self in leading a spirited Cheetahs outfit to some exciting victories. Willie Le Roux on the wing has also dazzled with his quick feet and is sure to score many more tries this season. Heinrich Brussouw also continues to cause havoc for opposition teams at ruck time.

Lions

The Lions have gone through a torrid time in recent weeks with the loss of many of their players to injury. Jaco Taute remains their most promising player as he continues his fine form from last years Currie Cup. The uncertainty around the Lions future in Super Rugby has also not helped their campaign.

 

Springbok 22 for March:-

 

  1. Dean Greyling
  2. Bismark Du Plessis
  3. Werner Kruger
  4. Eben Etzebeth
  5. Juandre Kruger
  6. Heinrich Brussouw
  7. Siya Kolisi
  8. CJ Stander
  9. Francois Hougaard
  10. Morne Steyn
  11. Bryan Habana
  12. Jean De Villers
  13. Tim Whitehead
  14. Gio Aplon
  15. Joe Pieterson

 

16. Chillyboy Ralepelle 17. Steven Kitshoff 18. Andries Bekker 19. Marcel Coetzee 20. Sarel Pretorius 21. Peter Grant 22. Bjorn Basson

HM – New Springbok Era

19 Apr

Our new Springbok coach has finally got his management team together and seems to have put a number of structures in place already. Rassie Erasmus has been appointed General Manager of High Performance in SA Rugby while a number of Meyer’s former Bulls assistants have been named as part of the management team. Besides the naming of his management team, Heyneke has also announced a schedule for three training camps with the best of the best from the Lions, Cheetahs, Bulls, Sharks and the Stormers in preparation for the England series. I believe this is a good move by the coach and feel that bringing everybody up to speed with the workings of the Bok machine, will bring out the best in our players. The regular Springboks will be put under pressure by those who would have tasted a bit of Springbok aura and this will only bring out the best from the seniors as well as those pushing for some Bok glory. The popular Supersport writer, Brenden Nel posted a few articles with some fascinating thoughts on what Meyer and Rassie have in mind for the future of SA Rugby, check them out – Moulding SA Rugby, Bok Training Camps .

Meyer has always been a man of organization and structures. This will be good for SA Rugby and he is without a doubt, the best man for the job. However he has made some disturbing noises… I don’t have a problem with him getting a host of former Blue Bulls staff to assist him in managing the Springboks. They have worked with Meyer before and this will aid him in forming his structures at a national level with less hassle. I do have a problem with Meyer planning on bringing a host of the “old guard” from overseas to play for the Boks again. Fourie Du Preez, Jaque Fourie Danie Roussouw, Gurthro Steenkamp and Victor Matfield are rumored to have been approached by Meyer to return and play for the Boks in the upcoming series against England. I have the greatest respect for these players and I am grateful for what they have contributed to SA rugby in past. I do however feel it is time we put our faith in the many talents we have in SA, especially the youngsters who are putting their hands up. Jaque Fourie has publically stated that he is not available for the Boks as he wants to honour his contract with his Japan club. He also stated that there are many other centers in SA raring to go and that we should allow them the opportunity to make a name for themselves at international level. I cannot agree with Fourie more, we have an abundance of talent; many of them under the age of 25. The likes of Fourie Du Preez and Victor Matfield can still influence the Springboks from a consultant point of view. The message it will send to Eben Etzebeth, Juandre Kruger, Andries Bekker and a host of others will not be positive.

While Matfield and Du Preez were a cut above the rest, we need to trust our talented youngsters to possibly achieve the same great heights those two legends accomplished in their day. We have the talent here; we need to use them… I have written previously about the great rugby resources we have in this country, we lose our players to other countries and overseas clubs too often. I really hope Meyer does not overlook the youngsters putting their hands up, because they are primed and ready to stake their claim for the Boks in the quest for world domination!