Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has to a great extent thrown caution to the wind by including Cheetahs flyhalf Johan Goosen and Western Province eighthman Duane Vermeulen in his squad of 28 that will travel to Australasia on Saturday.
While Goosen’s sole role on tour may be to become more familiar with the national setup, Vermeulen is an experienced professional who is in desperate need of game time to reproduce the form that first made the national selectors take note of his skills.
Said Meyer: “While Duane and Johan are medically fit, their provincial coaches felt it necessary that they get more game time in the Absa Currie Cup this weekend, but as we don’t have a lot of time to prepare and we need as much time with them as possible to get them used to our structures and game plans, the decision was taken to select them for the tour.”
Then there was also a somewhat left-field inclusion in the touring party as Meyer yesterday announced that England-based Francois Louw will be part of his touring party. While the Bath skipper is back for the first time since last year’s Rugby World Cup, Sharks captain Keegan Daniel has been dropped and what would not have helped Meyer’s popularity ratings is that he decided to retain the services of Bulls flanker Jacques Potgieter ahead of the slightly less intimidating Daniel.
In one of the more encouraging changes to the squad, Province centre Juan de Jong replaces green-horn JJ Engelbrecht.
“Juan covers both positions in the midfield and we opted for Francois because he is a specialist openside flanker in the absence of Schalk (Burger), Heinrich (Brüssow) and Siya (Kolisi), who can cover blindside and No8 as well, while he is also a very useful option in the lineout.”
As for the glaring omission in this squad, the reason why Meyer has not selected Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies remains a mystery.
The Springboks will have an open training session at the Orlando stadium in Soweto tomorrow from 3pm before departing for Australia on Saturday.
Article source: http://www.thenewage.co.za/60635-10-53-All_aboard_for_Bok_tour