Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | Springboks

Bryan Habana © Gallo Images

Six Boks back to Europe



The Springboks’ decision to continue with their overseas-based players had its first impact as the team arrived back in South Africa on Monday with no fewer than six members of the 26-man squad having to fly back to France to represent their clubs this weekend.

With 10 members of the Bok squad now based overseas, the French clubs have upped the ante and requested to have their players back for this weekend’s third round of the Top 14, as the Boks will be in transit on their way to Australia.

The problem is that the departures will hamper the Springboks’ preparations, although it seems that the South African Rugby Union has been very accommodating to the clubs and has decided to let them go.

Winger Bryan Habana has headed back to Toulon, flyhalf Morne Steyn to Stade Francais, lock Juandre Kruger to Racing Metro, while scrumhalf Jano Vermaak, prop Gurthro Steenkamp and hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle have all headed to Toulouse to play there this weekend.

All six players are set to make their Top 14 debut for their clubs, but it means they will not be with the Boks when they re-assemble in Johannesburg on Thursday, and will miss two days of training, arriving only on Monday in Brisbane and re-joining the team there.

Already the use of the overseas-based Boks is a contentious issue for Saru, but there is no doubt that coach Heyneke Meyer wants his strongest available squad for the test matches and there will be teething problems in the process.

Five of the players are set to start, while in the case of Steyn, it seems he will be on the bench for Stade Francais this weekend. The flyhalf kicked 16 points to give the Boks a narrow victory in Mendoza over Argentina and is a key man in the Boks' game-plan going forward, while Habana and Kruger also played on the weekend.

Steenkamp was on the bench with Vermaak, while Ralepelle was in the touring group. Vermaak does have a decent chance to start against Australia in Brisbane after the poor performance of Ruan Pienaar in Mendoza though.

Still, the Boks will need to decide how they want to use the six when they return. It is likely that the coaching staff already have a match 23 in their minds for Brisbane and it is unlikely that Habana, Kruger, Steyn or Vermaak are not part of it.

But how they will be affected by travelling halfway across the world through three continents and still playing a competitive game inbetween, is anyone’s guess.

Shop

SA Rugby Annual 2013
SA Rugby Annual 2013: The Official Year Book of the South African Rugby Union
R175.89
SA rugby annual 2014
The 2014 SA Rugby Annual is the official record of the South African season and is widely considered to be one of the finest yearbooks in world rugby
R175.89


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

Thu, 17 Apr @ 11:00
Thu, 17 Apr @ 05:00

Sports Talk



Brendan Venter
The value of versatility
With injuries a constant diet in a competition as gruelling as Super Rugby, I believe the currency...

Tony Johnson
Super Rugby mid-term report
We’re about halfway through the round robin, so a mid-term report might be in order.

Gavin Rich
It ain’t won in April...or May
One of Naas Botha’s famous comments from back when he was a player was that the Currie Cup wasn’t...

Brenden Nel
The importance of Matfield
Much has been debated about Victor Matfield’s comeback over the past few months, with opinions...

Super Wrap
Season's bleatings
Christmas can come early and this year the Bulls decided to bring it to us not even halfway into a...

Duane Heath
Alvizo's reprieve
Alvizo Erasmus has never met Jannie du Plessis and probably never will, but these two men, who ply...