Bok door still ajar
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said that the door is open for players left out of the last training camp before he announces his final squad on Saturday.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has mentioned that the door will remain open for players left out of the last training camp before he announces his final squad on Saturday.
As with any national squad selection there are going to be players that people think should be in the squad - but are not.
A player like Heinrich Brüssow has been in imperious form this season and has been left out of the Springbok training squad because, it seems, he does not fit into Meyer's version of an openside flank.
Meyer told the press: "All of the guys who attended these camps are in the selection frame for the three Tests, but the door certainly isn’t closed to anyone who didn’t get invited. There are still a lot of tough decisions to be made before we can finalise the squad for June."
The camp in Durban has been the second Springbok camp this year after the team met in Cape Town last month. These camps are vital due to the fact that with so much Super Rugby there is very little time for the team to train together before they play their opening test during the June Test window.
"This camp, as well as the first one last month in Cape Town, has really helped a lot in our preparation for the incoming series.
"We get together less than a week before the first Test, which doesn’t leave a lot of time to prepare, so to be able to work with the players during these camps has been great," Meyer added.
With a bruising Super Rugby season taking a break after this weekend, the Springboks had a number of players sitting out at their training session in Durban on Monday.
A lot of the franchises are relying on these players returning later this week to be ready for the games this weekend and if injuries were to be aggravated there could be potential conflict.
Players who took little or no part in the field sessions were Zane Kirchner (finger), Willie le Roux (hamstring), Juan de Jongh (finger), Jean de Villiers (gluteus), Demetri Catrakilis (calf), Elton Jantjies (shoulder), Francois Hougaard (knee), Siya Kolisi (shoulder), Marcell Coetzee (shoulder), Flip van der Merwe (ankle), Coenie Oosthuizen (shoulder) and Chiliboy Ralepelle (knee).
"We gave our commitment to the franchises that we won’t risk any players carrying injuries or niggles," said Meyer.
With such a short break between Super Rugby and the first Test Meyer would have loved to have all of his players running to get a feel for what he is trying to achieve, but that is never going to be the case and he had to try and facilitate these injured players in other ways to keep them up to speed.
"Obviously it’s not ideal, but we also did a lot of hard work away from the training field which I’m sure was of big benefit to everyone in the camp," mentioned the Springbok coach.