Pick black Boks to beat Wales – Jake

Jake White

If you read between the lines, the 30-cap rule has effectively fallen away and Rassie Erasmus can motivate to pick any South African, anywhere in the world, to play for the Springboks.

That means there’s no excuse for putting out a team that isn’t competitive every single time.

It also seems like the Bok coach will have to meet a 50-percent transformation quota during the season. That is much more realisitic than having to meet a 50% quota in every single Test because injuries, illness and form can disrupt even the best of plans.

The rules that Erasmus will have to play by are based on team performance and the requirements of the Strategic Transformation Plan. I would strive to make the most of those rules to create depth and playing opportunities for black players while trying to win championships along the way – these are the things that the Bok coach is going to get measured on.

The Test against Wales in Washington D.C. falls outside the official window so it’s very unlikely that the overseas-based players will be released for duty. June is the point of the European season where the playoffs take place and teams like Montpellier, Toulon and Saracens won’t release players.

So how can we work the situation to get the most out of that Test while still giving the Boks a chance to make a winning start to the season, and at the same time ensure we’re ready to host England the following week?

If I was the Bok coach, I’d look to pick a team against Wales that is made up of local players with a special emphasis on those that count towards the transformation targets.

Siya Kolisi would potentially captain a side that featured Tendai Mtawarira, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Trevor Nyakane, Marvin Orie, Lood de Jager, Thembalani Bholi, Nizaam Carr, Embrose Papier, Damian Willemse, Raymond Rhule, Damian de Allende, Lionel Mapoe, Ruan Combrinck and Warrick Gelant.

This team would serve the dual purpose of banking transformation credits to create selection breathing room for the England series, and would also give all of these players a chance to put their hand up on the international stage.

Some people might see this as a throwaway selection but I would pick this team to win based on the fact that these players are good enough to battle the best of Australia and New Zealand almost every week during Super Rugby.

Remember, Wales will be coming off a tough Six Nations campaign and European club competitions and the Test is at a neutral venue. One only needs to look at how well South Africa’s next-stringers did at the Hong Kong Sevens with a selection strategy that ticked multiple boxes.

While the one Bok squad is in the USA, a second group that includes SA’s most experienced players is at home preparing for the England series. There, you pick all the veterans that understand the pressures of Test rugby and who have played against the England players in the Aviva Premiership and the Champions Cup.

The team might look something like this: Steven Kitshoff, Malcolm Marx, Vincent Koch, Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Francois Louw, Jean-Luc du Preez, Duane Vermeulen, Faf de Klerk, Handre Pollard, Aphiwe Dyanti, Frans Steyn, Lukhanyo Am, Sbu Nkosi and Willie le Roux, with guys like Bismarck du Plessis, Elton Jantjies and Curwin Bosch in the training squad.

This certainly doesn’t mean that those who face Wales won’t be selected the following week – if anyone has a blinder they could definitely force changes and the experience of a player like Mtawarira would make it difficult not to include him against England.

And that’s exactly what you want as a coach (to create a competition for places in the squad) and as a player (to know that you’ve been selected because you’re the best).

Leading up to the first Test against England, you’ve given guys Test match experience at the back end of a Super Rugby campaign, and you’ve spent a week preparing your most experienced squad for the series.

If you win the Test at Ellis Park on June 9, then you would keep the same group for the second Test. Based on what you get out of the first three Tests of the season, you field the side that played against Wales in the third Test against England.

And if all has gone according to plan, you go into the Rugby Championship with the same approach – the team that played against Wales goes against Argentina while you start prepping for Australia and New Zealand with the team that played against England.

That means you could be meeting your transformation objectives while growing a squad capable of winning a series, like the one against England.

The reality for the coach is that, whichever way he does it, he’ll have people questioning his method. If he changes the team every week, they’ll question it, and if he doesn’t, they’ll question it.

But it’s no use being overly sensitive about the transformation requirements or short-sighted about the Test window limitations. It’s a case of understanding that, over a period of four Test matches, there’s enough leeway to give players opportunities and also win an important series against England.

- Jake White

Let's chat

  • The Infamous Kong

    The logic is sound behind a two team approach, but I can’t help but feel this is completing the farce that is “Transformation Standards”, while at the same time it also feel’s like a smack in the face to “quota” players.

    • Stanley

      Completely agree with you

    • hopeful

      The real smack in the face is being selected on the basis of your colour and not talent alone….How does a professional accept such a label on his career when he is outplayed or outclassed?

      More embarrassing is players chosen prematurely just to fill the quota gap…..guys who will on their own achieve selection through talent and experience are shrouded by “Quota selection”….I know how that would annoy me!!

      Select the best players for opposition based on strategy…..a coach with understanding and foresight will never worry about quota…

      Rhule against NZ not a great idea but against Aus he should fair well….Just an example…

    • Adriaan

      I cant believe once again an ex springbok,coach puts his foot I it, much more disappointing seeing it is Jake, just a,reminder, the previous one is no other than Nick Mallet, when coaching Italy wrote a column in the citizen claiming black players can never be good pack players. Now Jake goes and stoop to Nicks level, a predominantly ir totally black Springbok team I tactics racist thinking, it is non representative and it would appease the transformationists so that the door could be left open for a Lilly white team during the England tests, with the crude excuse the blacks had there turn.

    • Joe the Soap

      “Transformation” has by definition “quota players”

      Transformation is a smack in the face to anyone the experiences it any way.

      No matter what, the quota player will always be seen as below standard and the non-quota players will always look to go to places where there aren’t quotas. e.g. Europe

  • Zazay

    It rather seems like those who was in charge knows more about player selecrion then the ones currently there… Rugby politics.!

    Any how, based on the teams above, i think a well balanced squad will come from it for the Wal/Eng series.

  • Roger Jonkerman

    We are way back down the road to talk about quota players. Players of colour is just as good as any other player given the opportunity and time to prove themselves. And saying this, I mean not being set up for failure by coaches and management. How is it possible to have a 7’s team with so much players of colour? Is it because of the skills level, or the brand of rugby they play? Why can’t this style of rugby be rolled out in the 15’s as well? Can’t our coaches coach that style of rugby or are SARU scared that the current contracted players cannot play that type of game? We have a lot of black players who can, and will if only given the opportunity, and not forced to play the old pick up and drive type of game.

    • Frankie Knuckles

      “How is it possible to have a 7’s team with so much players of colour?”
      Because they play to their strengths- speed , elusiveness and guile. Unfortunately our sevens boys are being exposed as one trick ponies lately as a lack of genuine size and physicalty is painfully obvious against sides like Fiji, NZ and Kenya. We won’t be the top team for long there anymore, as we are not evolving. Also, players like Kwagga Smith and Seabelo Senatla’s stubborn refusal to accept their physical limitations in pursuit of a Springbok jersey is admirable but naive, and left a massive hole in our sevens side. VERY evident the past two legs and at the Commonwealth games.
      And selfish.

      “Is it because of the skills level, or the brand of rugby they play? Why can’t this style of rugby be rolled out in the 15’s as well?”
      Sevens is so vastly different from 15’s that it requires a very specialised skillset.
      Why are the All Blacks the best in the world by a country mile in 15’s, but up and down and pretty inconsistent the past few seasons in sevens, nowhere near as successful as their 15 man brethren?
      Specialised skills.
      Now, onto Forced transformation…
      Name any player of colour in our S15 crop this year from positions 1-8 and I’ll show you a paler player who is better.
      10- 15 is a totally different story.
      There you could pick an entirely “black” back line and compete with the best in the world.
      Its funny how the 100m finals at the Olympics is almost always completely black and no one ever raises the issue of transformation? We accept that they are the best because of physiology, and are uniquely built genetically to excel at certain sports.
      When last did a black cyclist win the Tour de France?
      Never – horses for courses….
      When we accept this, and use this to our advantage, and stop pandering to the PC brigade and the sports ministry, we will be a great rugby nation again.
      Until then, and until we pick the most suitable for the job, also rans we will remain.
      Mine:
      1. Kitshoff/ Beast
      2. Marx/ Bismarck
      3. Louw/ Koch
      4. Etzebeth
      5. Snyman/ Mostert
      6. Kriel (when fit) otherwise Roelof Smit. Kolisi there and there abouts.
      7. Du Preez/ Vermeulen
      8. Whitely
      9. Reinach/ Papier
      10. Pollard/ Lambie/ Jantjies
      11. Dyantyi/ Ulengo
      12. Janse van Rensburg/ Esterhuizen
      13. Am/ Kwagga Smith…….(you want to bring in sevens skills, here’s your chance. Imagine the defense and turn overs won in the tackle in the midfield. This guy is wasted on the flank)
      14. Tambwe/ Combrinck/ Nkosi
      15. Le Roux/ Combrink/ Gelant

      But that’s why I don’t coach, I guess.
      Let’s leave that to Rassie and judge him AFTER the World Cup…

      • henzero

        Calling them selfish is absurd and outright bloody dumb, im pretty sure if they played it would have had zero impact on end results for the 7’s.

      • Noja

        You are looking at rugby on the basis of skin colour, tour de france is for whites not blks – this trail of taught is so ignorant of class in society. This is a class sport, like tennis, golf, swimming, etc. Its not that bks cant do them. Back to rugby, this is a game of skills , not battering rams, New Zealand changed that. Look at kids for talent, skill, x factor etc NOT race. All Blacks produce forwards with skills of a winger, SA is nowhere close that if your thinking prevails.

      • John Comyn

        Frankie it’s not rocket science picking a side that consists of 32 odd players. Try 15 with 6 on the bench. BTW Kwaga at centre is ludicrous even if you are a die hard Lions man.

        • Redge

          You mean 8 on the bench

        • Laban Jones Jr.

          Why is it ludicrous? Please explain your viewpoint…

      • dave

        why do they keep choosing Rhule … he cant tackle .. I would also like to see more loosies in the backs .. especially against the AB .. we always lose with smaller backs .. try a couple of bigger loose forwards who would b immediately at the breakdown .. might b interesting

      • The Farmtonian

        Ok did you just say “paler player who is better.”, I don’t know if I should be offended for white people or black people. You couldn’t just said I will show you a player that is better than the black player or a white player that is better.

        • Laban Jones Jr.

          Oh please – get over yourself. This kind of “faux-sensitivity” for the sake of political correctness is the reason why we are still debating this issue today. A whole generation after our transformation to a democratic society and we are still drawing a bold colour line through our everyday lives. White/Black/Yellow/Pink/Brown. Whatever….

          • The Farmtonian

            The headline of this article is: Pick black Boks to beat Wales – Jake… do you think if he wanted a predominantly white squad he would have said: Pick white Boks to beat Wales – Jake or would it have been: Pick best Boks to beat Wales – Jake…

      • Martin

        Good comments my team for england:
        Beast
        Marx
        Koch
        Eben
        Psdt
        Smit
        Vermeulen
        Whiteley
        Faf
        Pollard
        Mapimpi
        Serfontein
        Kriel
        Ismaiel
        Gelant
        Bismark
        Kitshoff
        Louw
        Mostert
        Kolisi
        Papier
        Lambie
        Am

        Team against wales:
        Lizo
        Bongi
        Trevor
        Rg
        Loodt
        Louw
        Jean luc du preez
        Dan du preez
        Schreuder
        Jantjies
        Dyanti
        Steyn
        Am
        Nkosi
        Combrinck
        Akker
        Smith
        Coenie(if fit)
        Jenkins
        Wiese
        Hougaard
        Du preez
        Esterhuizen

        The team to play englanf should be the best possible.

        Will give am a chancr at 13 against wales as well on the bench against england because he might easily start the second or third test ahead of kriel so keep him match fit.

        Will start with serfontein on 12 because he is on fire at the moment and also last year. Will use steyn in the wales test and also keep him an option to play at 15 if needed.

        I will give papier, smit gelant and ismaiel a chance to play in south africa. The squad for wales should consist a few senior players such as hougaard combrinck louw.

        I chose most of the players out of the traning groups that he chose in the past few weeks.

  • Feris

    So white is talking abt transformation bt yet hv only 4 players of colour in the most important tests,,blacks should play games dat dnt matter

    • Frank Lee

      Yup, well said. It’s so obvious isn’t it.

  • Menozians

    Clever idea, but why are the black players considered as the second stringers? And to play a large number of black players against weak opposition only/mostly sends the wrong message to them and the whole rugby world/community! If you wanna go with this logic of two teams, dont split them across racial lines (isnt that segregation, an apartheid idea?)…wake up Jake! We building a nation including all races working ,living and playing together as one!

    • Brad

      Wales is hardly weak opposition as far as the boks are concerned. Perhaps Italy aside its the boks that represent the weak competition for European teams!

    • Sipho

      Jake White a world cup winning coach. His opinio counts. Atleast acknowledge what Jake’s says. You didn’t win a world cup so rather don’t comment

      • Menozians

        Just because he won a world cup doesn’t mean his racist ideas should be acceptable.

      • dave

        he wants Rhule .. whats he been watching ???

    • Les

      Jake suddenly full of ideas. You had you turn shut up now so Rassie can do his job that he getting paid for.

    • Devron van Heerden

      There is nothing wrong with picking these two sides.

      The all black Maori team is an example of how you can give exposure to players of colour who otherwise would not walk into the first team.
      You increase exposure of these players to international rugby and swell your pool of players to pick from.

      • Redge

        True but they don’t have the SA race record

      • Menozians

        The Maori team does not play tests and does not represent NZ as a country. If they pick a black team for exposure and experience and let them play similar exhibition games to pick up experience and put them through the pressure tests, then its cool, but it should be players that is being developed in the hope they shape up for Springbok duty that’s not currently part of the core squad. But you cannot apply the same logic for the Springbok national team to score transformation points on less important games to get the new yearly averages to balance, its window dressing.

      • Steven

        Picking two teams is brilliant idea.that is the way forward.

        • henzero

          nope, nah, rather not, We can’t even field one strong team… noddafok bois 1 team with 30 of the best strongest no matter pink purple yellow black white, you play lik baws you play bok

  • MalOom

    Next we can start scheduling yearly test series against Zim/Nam/Swaziland maybe even Moz. Then they can build up more transformation credit before the real tests? Jeez JW, crawl back into your cave now.

    • Frankie Knuckles

      You mean that cave with all the trophies in?….

  • Johan

    Agree with the people above, we can’t pick a “quota” team to face Wales, it sends the wrong message. All of the players will know they are quotas and that doesn’t help anything.

    Most rugby players want to make the team on their own skill alone and not because the fill a quota. Until this is removed as an SA rugby objective, no black player can feel “safe” from being a quota, they will always (in the back of their mind) wonder if they were chosen as the best quota or as THE best.

    We have been in the new South Africa for 24 years, in a country with about 80% black population. Where are these players, why are we still looking for quotas! I know a football is popular, but still, where in the system aren’t these players coming through. We will be the world’s best team if we utilize all our people!

    Instead of focusing on the Boks, focus on the system!

    Doesn’t the majority of schools have rugby?
    Are there interest?
    Can we build interest?
    Why is the player pool of unions not full of promising, transformed, players!
    Instead of quota-ing the 100 players, why isn’t there 500 talented, transformed players?

    Fix the system, don’t quota the highest levels of a sport!

    • Laban Jones Jr.

      Spot on Johan. The system is broken – mostly because it’s not being implemented and managed by sportsmen, but rather by politicians whose only goals are self-enrichment and self-advancement. These comrades care little for the state of our national sport…

    • Murray

      The first person talking sense here.there are not enough players of colour that are in the test category. Therefore the grass roots system is wrong.don’t spoil our national team by enforcing quotas when your system is wrong.you can’t fix a sagging building by altering the roof fix the foundationd

  • Nick.

    Wow……

    Shocked by the race based assumptions White makes here.
    On so many levels this is insulting and unacceptable to the players.

    Also, why is Lood DeJager in the ‘Second best/ black team’? I know things are complicated in SA but somebody will have to explain this one to me.

    Sorry ALL OUT RUGBY, not that it will hurt you, but this is my last visit.
    The only stuff worth reading is penned by Oom Rugby anyway.

    • Frankie Knuckles

      Yeah like those damn NZ rugby administrators.
      How dare the pick a Maori All Black team!!!
      Racists!!!

      • Menozians

        Those are exhibition games, not real tests. If they want to pick a Bok black exhibition team for exposure no problem, but the team that must do national duty…different story altogether for NZ and SA alike.

  • Swannie

    What ludicrous nonsense! Jake is clearly stuck in a mindset that applied 11 years ago. The Springbok team should always be the best and strongest possible team, regardless of how many players are pink, orange, green or yellow.

    No player of ANY colour should EVER be in a Springbok side merely because he is of a particular colour. And that applies to ALL colours. If the best possible team selected only on merit happens to include 14 players of colour, then so be it. But, of course, vice versa too.

    We have fantastically gifted players of all colours in this country. Pick a merit team and we’ll automatically have all colours well represented.

    • Laban Jones Jr.

      Agree Swannie, but in reality this cannot happen. There are quotas in place that prevents a coach from selecting the best XV. What Jake is suggesting is manipulating the system in order to be able to pick your strongest team for the big games, whilst at the same time driving transformation and giving up-and-coming players vital international exposure. Makes a lot of sense if you ask me. Definitely not ludicrous nonsense…

      • Ziko

        You couldn’t have said it better!
        This plan is explicit and it can definitely work for this country. People must just stop looking at it at a racial point of view.

  • Monde

    I am really disappointed by the suggestion made by Jake White. This country has travelled so far for him to suggest that black players can only play in the second string team. Also disturbing is how narrow this suggestion that Wales is a weaker team than England. We all know that Wales was the second best team in the 6 nations this year. I suggest he keeps his thoughts to himself and not contaminate Rassie and team.

  • Nhlamulo

    Give credit where it’s due! Picking players on great form is always the best idea, look at the New Zealand players you could swear every year there’s a new star , coz if a players comes with a bang or different flavour to the game they easily recognize him and give him an opportunity to prove himself! That’s rugby Infact sports in particular, you can’t stay on top of your game forever, give young players like the likes of Aphiwe Dyanti, Damian willemse, Sylvian Mahuza, a chance to prove themself , coz they proving themself, if they don’t reach the requirements or level of international rugby at least they have tasted the Medicine and know where they need to work on , there is talented players in the country , leave the outsiders , they proririety of playing for the country isn’t there , we all know going overseas is to make good money, which we have nothing against but I believe if your motive is to be a bok , you will develop yourself within the country and style of rugby in it, pick passion and hard work , talent is only the ticket , quota system is the saddest idea on how a coach takes it into consideration, if you know how to avoid it , it will be the best thing coz you will allow black players to feel accepted and talent enough to be a bok! Give the credit where it’s due, if you the best flyhalf,centre ,prop, lock based on stats and your form at the very moment than congratulate the pel and give him a jersey , if he keeps performing than so be it, let’s love rugby for its creation not on favoritism or culture or oprassion, then South African rugby will reach great heights ??

  • Alberto

    Crap! What makes those “experienced” players like Le Roux, De Klerk, Steyn and co, good enough to get into the side in the first place..??
    If you actually watched Jake, you would have noted plenty if better players in those positions…
    So Rassie has options – just like SA rugby could have called on you…doesn’t mean he has to use them!
    The only thing you got right was the window dates and recognising the fact that players put up their hands – I would prefer Rassie picking his best side for England 1 with some thought of playing recovering players off the bench in that game and Wales, along with your current B players -regardless color, making the Wales run-on side.
    And leave the has-beens, wilted flowers etc ib Europe…

    • Frankie Knuckles

      Were there better players than Percy, Os, John Smit and Butch James in 2007?
      Yes!
      Would they have had the mettle to win a World Cup?
      Probably not.

      • Stanley

        Wasn’t Bryan Habana the player of the tournament? Didn’t JP make a try-saving tackle? Take off your white blinkers fool!

  • Johan JL

    I absolutely agree.
    The fact is we HAVE to be 50% players of colour end of this year. Finish and klaar. So we need to move towards that from game one. I don’t want to sit inform of my TV come world cup 2019 announcement and then a Cobus Reinagh is left out in the 12th hour!
    And the people above – nowhere is there a mention of a Second best black team. There is mention of game 1 WITH A SHORT TURN AROUND to game 2. Not a A and B team. Come on guys. If the guys play well, then they will play all 4 games. Which I’m sure a Kholisi for example WILL be in all 4 games. As will Gelant. This is just White pointing to the fact that WE have to have 50% player of colour. Which comes from the Government. So it’s their EXACT terms and words. So how can this then be a race issue? Come on.
    White – thanks for this. I wish everyone, especially the media and analyst could just start doing the same. For example, we keep mentioning all our awesome loosies. We have 7 or great loosies , 3 are non-white…of you have 50% players of colour it means the 2 of the 3 loosies on the field will probably not be white. So start looking and mentioning them more in your blogs, posts etc so that the fans can also start looking at the bigger picture. Sorry to say this but if all are healthy, this means that not both Du Preez brothers will play. Also probably not a Kwagga OR a Jaco Kriel for that matter…so yes – its reality and its something we have to accept. But I think we have great players…just not depth when it comes to players of colour…So yes – Thanks White – we need games and posts and opinions like this

    • Frankie Knuckles

      First sensible comment.
      Glad to see you actually read the article instead of just the headline like others here who jumped on that PC bandwagon and were quick to shout RACIST!
      Some just can’t be objective, for fear of what their black boss may say.
      Well done, old chap.

  • Derik

    Jake should not have labelled his team selection based on race. To be honest, he can probably select two competitive teams that will be almost 50% black, without having to count colours first. Guys like Siya, Elton, Am, Gelant and Dyanti could feature for the England series, while Beast, Nyakane, Orie, Dyamani, Nkosi, Papier, Tambwe, Mapoe, could face Wales. The moment he labels one of the teams “black”, and that team doesn’t (or does) perform, it will throw proponents and opponents of quotas into a frenzy.

  • Meonn de villiers

    Rather focus on the basics then on game plan……if you cant catch the ball, why on earth would u train and put in stuff like dummy runners…..learn how to tackle and get the basics right…..if you get the basics right i can promise you a win.

  • Mike S

    MAKE THE BOKKE GREAT AGAIN

    Jake scratch your head that is the worst idea and terrible from a previous Bok coach.

    I believe quotas are holding players of color back and tarnishing the legacy of our great players of color from the past that have represented our country with heart and honor, they were and are supported by all true South African rugby supporters of all colors.

    I call on current rugby players to take a stand against quotas and refuse to play while quotas are enforced.

    I believe and most supporters believe that if a player is the best in there position they must play regardless of color.

    MAKE THE BOKKE GREAT AGAIN

  • Herb

    I think this is very sensible… and its a strong team

  • Dean

    It’s really not hard to pick a squad with 50%, try it.
    Backs – Gelant, Nkosi, Dyantyi, Combrinck, Serfontein, Am, De Allende, Steyn, Pollard, Willemse, Jantjies, de Klerk, Papier, Cronje,

    Forwards – Whiteley, Vermeulen, JL du Preez, Kolisi, J Kriel, Notshe, Etzebeth, de Jager, PS du Toit, Mostert, Kitshoff, Mtawarira, Nyakane, Nche, Koch/W Louw, Marx, Ralepelle, Mbonambi

    There you go, a 32 man squad. I included 15 players of colour so I missed the mark by 1. It’s possible another deserving player will emerge in the next year. Don’t forget about injuries too. There’s still Willie Le Roux, Lambie, Mapoe, Bosch, Tambwe, RG Snyman, B du Plessis, Ntubeni who could easily slot in.

    • Redge

      You’ve got 14 not 15 in the group. Now select a game day 23 with a 50/50 split. Select a team that can compete with the best. Then try to select a WC squad consisting of, as far as I know, 28 or 29 players, with a 50/50 split. It must be extremely difficult to be the Bok coach!

      • Dean

        De Allende has been counted as a player of colour all of last year. I count 15. The last World Cup the squads were 31 players. I agree it must be difficult. I dont agree with transformation either. Im just saying its not difficult to pick a squad that is 50 percent.
        1 beast 2 marx 3 koch 4 etzebeth 5 ps 6 kolisi 7 vermeulen 8 whiteley 9 papier 10 pollard 11 nkosi 12 serfontein 13 am 14 combrinck 15 gelant 16 mbonambi 17 kitshoff 18 nyakane 19 de jager 20 kriel 21 de klerk 22 jantjies 23 de Allende. This is just my opinion though, I managed 10. Miss the mark by 1 again. If that team wins a final nobody will care anyway.

  • Vennspan

    What is the obsession with Frans Steyn all about…we have very capable inside centres playing locally. Give them a chance at the highest level.
    Otherwise not a bad idea from Jake with the restrictions that Rassie has as a coach

    • Redge

      Agree, he’s attitude sucks anyway

  • Barry Smith

    Having a second team for the Wales game is put across as some form of new revolution in strategy! The reality is that Erasmus has already indicated that there would have to be a second team, because of the timing and location of the Wales game, so really the debate is only who makes the cut in the Wales test! To my mind, if we are to kick the test season off on a positive note we need to select the form players from Super Rugby, regardless of colour. There is ample potential amongst both black and white players. We need to remember that we have lost our last few games against Wales with our A team, so this will be a tough win and an essential one, if we want to start the England series positively. Lastly, how about the white boys that have put their hands up at Super Rugby? What message would we be sending to them, if National honours were based on race alone? There would be a string of them looking to sign for overseas clubs – perhaps that’s Jake’s plan?

  • jurgen

    I think Jake is looking for the job by saying the right things? Although some of the selected players are exceptionally talented, there are still players that would be far superior than the ones Jake has proposed.

  • Lions Fan '82

    Sjoe, Uncle Jake has touched a nerve here I see.
    He’s just calling a spade a spade. None of us have ever been a fan of the political influence regarding team selection, call it what ever you want, and neither has HE been a fan of it! But it is what it is and somehow we have to make the best of it, as well as work our way around it and try a short-cut or two. This Wales test wasn’t even on the cards till 2 or 3 months ago. Maybe a clever plan by our Director of Rugby to test some fringe player, and getting the “transformation” numbers up. Uncle Jake, having been in this position having to deal with political influence (Only in SA) just shows how a coaches mind has to be geared with transformation targets. With all his experience and knowing what Rassie has to deal with, I’d say it’s some sound advice.

  • Martin

    Well, not to sound like a doom-prophet or anything, but I personally feel that skin pigmentation is no substitute for skill and ability.

    For this reason, I would like to see this “all-black” team take on Wales. It will either prove a very important point on transformation/quota rugby or disprove it. So bring it on, and I’ll get my popcorn.

    If Jake is right; then so be it. If he is wrong, then prepare for a life of SA rugby sitting at the bottom of the international rankings. They are not so far away from that anyway.

  • John Comyn

    Really like Jake’s side for the 1st England test. Interesting is Faf and Willie. Rumor has it take Rassie has been in contact with both of them. Have you been talking to Rassie Jake :-)

  • Andries

    Fantastic insight.

    I agree.

  • Marc

    If you were a white professional rugby player, why would you get caught up in this mess. The rugby world is laughing at us for picking a team based on the colour of skin. South Africa just can’t move on from race issue’s. Why not pick a black rugby team like the New Zealand mauri and build from there. We cannot call the springboks our national team because it’s not based on merit.

  • Herman Schroder

    Jake is losing it completely. Firstly quotas, affirmative action, transformation etc is an abomination and should never be applied when choosing your top 23 players to play in a test for SA. Only the best against a rugby world that is fast leaving SA behind. Our latest ranking is 6th in the world and lose the Wales test and we move to 7TH !!!! Below test level do as much political juggling as you like but only the cream should represent this country and I don’t care if they are all black or lily white just pick the best.

    Overseas players who were part of Heyneke Meyer’s and Alistair Coetzee’s demolition of SA rugby these past four years should never be considered again. They are what I call mostly ‘domkrag’ players who were pummeled by just about every country including Japan and Italy in that period and imo can be considered past it especially in the modern era where the game has moved on. Jake picks seven overseas has been’s in the Bok team for England of which I would only consider Faf de Klerk who should never have been allowed to leave these shores. The rest you can put on the scrap heap of history. When some of them featured in AC’s first year as coach they were average to poor to say the least. And Jake want’s to pit them against Eddie Jones and England ??

    What makes his ‘plan for them even more ludicrous is the fact that they will not be released from their clubs until the end of May so Rassie must now weld this lot into a workable unit in less than two weeks ?? Remind you of anything ?. Our SR Franchises are at least trying to play a more expansive game, with the Lions the only team to come any close to perfecting it at this stage, yet Jake once to trundle in a bunch of shell shocked plodders who play a far more static game ( with some exceptions ) to take on the Engelse ? Jake hasn’t really thought this process through I’m afraid.

    We have far more talented and adaptable players in SR which Rassie should be concentrating on. However it must also be said that the inconsistency of our teams so far is worrying, with the exception of the Lions who appear to be wrongfully branded with the same ‘loser’ label as the other lot. The Blues defeat would never have happened if Djantji had got a finger to the ball in the Blues in goal area three minutes from time and Jackass Pyper again favoured the Crusaders when he never penalized a tackle in the air in the final minutes the same tackle by the way that saw Kwagga red carded in the final last year. They also kept the Crusaders scoreless for an hour while the other Franchises leaked a huge number of tries in their capitulations.

    Which brings me to one other point in this ongoing debate. While the talent undoubtedly is available in this country at present what appears to be lacking is mental strength. The Lions didn’t get to two finals by being inconsistent and lacking in resolve. The same cannot be said of quite a few players in the other Franchises who one week get heralded as superstars only to disappear the next week against the big guns. Consistency wins tournaments and test matches by and large and only the strongest survive. Rassie must pick the mentally strongest and not be concerned with pigmentation.

    For me the most important question for Rassie will be what game plan he plans to adopt. If he calls back the geriatrics of the past then it’s domkrag 101 and then the Jantjies, Whiteleys, Tambwe’s, Galant’s, etc might as well go seek greener pastures. IMO he must concentrate solely on our SR Franchises but for heavens sake bring back Faf de Klerk if he plans to play expansively. These days tries win trophies at all levels, just ensure you have the skill and mental fortitude to outscore your opposition at all times and players who possess these traits must be chosen for the big stage. The plodders, like the dinosaur, must be placed in museums to be gazed upon as relics of the past. Rassie it’s up to you and we will know come end of June what your template will be but for heavens sake don’t rope in Jake that guy belongs to yesterday. Cheers..

  • Brad

    Does it matter at this stage of the game who is selected….Springbok Rugby is seemingly over. As for players being good enough to face the best of NZ/AUS…..are those the same players who are part of teams that lose week in and week out?

    As for quotas one can only laugh at the hypocrisy in South Africa….quota’s/transformation…..racism by any other name is still racism. Disagree all you want but the facts speak for themselves – the only change is the side of the coin!!

  • Billy

    Finally someone agrees. We don’t need Jake or his opinions in any shape, way or form. Enjoy Japan and leave us alone. We all know who actually won the World Cup for us.

  • Redge

    Jeez the state of our rugby is a joke! To rate Papier as our backup scrumhalve after a few games for the Bulls is actually hilarious. He’s not even the first choice at the Bulls! Ditto for Paige last year. Chiliboy as backup hooker,really? Nyakane and Lizo international material? Am better than our other midfield options available? Players are leaving SA mainly because of politics in the game and not for the money. A guy like Reinach had to stand back for Paige?? Sport should ALWAYS be about MERIT and NEVER about COLOUR. The only reason why we can’t compete with the top teams at the moment is the fact that we are not allowed to pick on merit.

  • kenmeg

    At the end of the day, I am sure the customer who is paying for the ticket to go to the stadium wants to see the best players that both sides can play immaterial of race. You can have the best players by name on the field but if the coach hasn’t got a clue on how to coach modern day rugby, instead of this kick chase and defend mentality of our South African coaches past and present., makes the difference between winning and losing, To these clowns who keep on punting willie le roux, lambie, frans steyn , Bismarck and the list goes on, maybe you should start to watch netball.

  • Georg Kellermann

    We have so many talented players but unfortunately there are limited options to accommodate everyone. Should all the rugby playing nations not have in addition to their national team, also an A and a B team? In motor racing, boxing and other sports there are different levels. Up and coming young players or players who are temporarily out of form on the highest level could be placed in the A and the B teams. Players who excel in the lower levels could be elevated to the higher levels. I am sure the spectators would get more for their money when they for example buy a ticket and will be able to watch for example the All Blacks play the Springboks and also the All Blacks A team play against the Springbok A team.

    • Rant

      Interesting thought. Perhaps a B World Cup whereby first tier teams can only select uncapped players as a form of development. You could add loads of 2nd and 3rd tier teams, who can select full strength teams thus competing against the larger countries. I could see this being a huge draw to the crowds to see the likes of New Zealand playing a final against say Japan, or Romania (unrealistic I know). I would certainly pay to see uncapped Boks playing against uncapped New Zealand. That would be great to see the actual depth of each country.

  • Rant

    Just wow! Some of the comments here are clearly by people who have been hiding in a hole for the last 20-odd years.

    Firstly, I disagree with Jake saying we have to “bank transformation credits”. Although the government directive to select 50% players of colour is a massive goal to meet, this comment hints at a biased view towards players of colour.

    Secondly, JW is 100% correct in saying we need 2 squads due to the travel factor (thanks SARU, genius) and limited preparation time. However, I think he got it wrong in his identification of who should play. You do need experienced guys and some newbies in both squads. The trip to USA to face Wales is a great time to test all the local guys as foreign based players cannot play due to international window.

    I think JW started his article really well, saying we need to back the local guys and need to try out the next gen of talent most notably the players of colour who have been identified and are in form. He loses the plot when he then pretty much picks an almost all black team and almost all white team. In reality, to meet the 50% directive, we need to give as many black players a chance to take the step up, and we have so many talented guys who are better than some incumbents.

    In finishing, I say to everyone, get off the high horse, stop looking through racial glasses and look into it seriously. Wales beat SA last year with a 3rd string team, and pushed England with a 2nd string team. Nobody is taking Wales lightly, and the team mentioned has the potential to beat them. So I certainly don’t think its a 2nd string Bok team.

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