The not strong enough Boks

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 11:05
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OPINION: Tauriq Ebrahim examines the claim that the current squad of Springboks are the best South Africa have.

"There are not many players out there that can really strengthen our squad."

Those were the words Springbok coach Allister Coetzee spat out following his side's humiliating 15-57 defeat at the hands of the All Blacks that really got to me.

Whether those were really his thoughts - or that of administrators higher up - is anyone's guess.

However, I do not feel that he is blind to the state of Springbok rugby.

There is only one word to describe any person who thinks that the current crop of players donning the Springbok emblem are the best we have - delusional.

Then there was this pearler: "We need to blood players at the beginning of a new four-year cycle, but we cannot experiment too much."

How many players are being blooded exactly? Has that been done? The short answers are None and No.

In terms of the starting XV, how is having the likes Tendai Mtawarira, Adriaan Strauss, Francois Louw, Morne Steyn, Bryan Habana and Juan de Jongh blooding new players?

It's the complete opposite.

The first year of the four-year cycle is the perfect time to experiment with new players and different combinations. Bring in players who are on the outskirts of international rugby and give them a taste.

That way, you know exactly who needs more time to develop and who is ready for the step up.

Why are the selectors so scared of picking inexperienced players to replace the names mentioned above? Is there really anything to lose considering the sorry state of affairs?

With this in mind, I have stuck my head out to select a potential 23-man team who, based on Coetzee's statement, are not strong enough to play for the Springboks - as well as a new-look coaching staff with Coetzee still at the helm.

The team below has been chosen based on an ideal scenario that all players are fit and healthy. The ridiculous concept of quotas and transformation has not been taken into account and I have chosen this team based on my opinion of who deserves to be selected on merit.

There are, however, some current squad members who have been retained.

Springboks: 15 Ruan Combrinck, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Siyamthanda Kolisi, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Rudolph Snyman, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 20 Albertus Smith, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Johan Goosen, 23 Gio Aplon.

Head coach: Allister Coetzee
Forwards coach: Johan Ackermann
Backline coach: Franco Smith
Defence coach: JP Ferreira
Attack coach: Swys de Bruin

By Tauriq Ebrahim