Who should have replaced Jean-Luc?

Ruan Botha was called up to replace Jean-Luc du Preez in the Springbok squad for the imminent tour of Europe – the All Out Rugby team thinks there were at least two better options.

Zelím Nel says – Trokkie
Who, oh who, could Allister Coetzee possibly have called up to fill in for Du Preez? I mean, the Boks lost a young, invincible, 113kg eighthman, a real gain-line thumper… those don’t just grow on trees, anymore.

Per minute of playing time, Du Preez has been the Springboks’ most valuable forward in 2017. His hulking frame and direct playing style has restored some respectability to a pool of South African loose forwards that would probably lose a beatdown against New Zealand’s pool of wingers.

But the 22-year-old snapped his ankle in the Currie Cup final and is offline until 2018. Mmmm… such a tough, tough dilemma finding a replacement. “I know,” said Coetzee. “Sharks lock Ruan Botha!”

Urgh. Facepalm.

Imagine calling up the country’s fifth-best lock to replace a ball-carrying loose forward when the best U20 player in the world is a rampaging South African No 8?

That’s right folks, Juarno Augustus will be flicking the Frisbee to his mates on Camps Bay beach later this month instead of cutting his teeth in Test rugby.

The kid is a beast; a 1.85m-116kg slab of momentum. As his nickname suggests, he’s mastered the art of trucking tacklers at the point of contact and folding runners like a dinner napkin.

While South Africa’s lineout was the most prolific in the Rugby Championship, only Argentina gained fewer metres per carry. Surely Augustus would have been a better add?

Tank Lanning says – Harold Vorster
Bring out the straight jacket, I hear you say! While I would not begrudge you that option, given the seriously left-field suggestion, I am using this forum to fix what I believe to be the position most understaffed in Allister Coetzee’s EOYT squad.

We lose Jan Serfontein, arguably the most effective Bok backline player, and replace him with Damian de Allende, who made one carry in the 48 minutes allotted to him in the Rugby Champs. And alongside De Allende, we have two outside centres in Lucky Am and Francois Venter, while in Jesse Kriel we have a fullback/wing who has struggled for the Boks.

I quite like the Ruan Botha selection. To my mind it was between him and WP’s JD Schickerling, a call-up for either suggesting Pieter-Steph du Toit gets an extended run on the side of the scrum. A move I support given that we actually do not have a like-for-like thumper of a blindside flanker out there right now.

It’s a fairly controversial move that comes with some real risk, though, so given that Du Preez’s absence still leaves nine guys covering the lock/loose forward positions, why not plug a real hole in the squad with the truly classy 24-year-old, Phalaborwa-born, 94kg, 1.86m midfielder who started life as an inside centre.

Prior to the WP vs Lions Currie Cup game, I was shooting the breeze with Stormers coach Rob Fleck (also a former Bok centre) as we watched our laaitjies battle it out on the cricket pitch.

“Okes need to watch out for that beast Janse van Rensburg,” I said.

“Naaah,” said Fleck. “Okes need to watch out for Vorster.”

- All Out Rugby Staff Writer

Let's chat

  • Arch Rautenbach

    Agree and disagree on both. Basically I just feel AC missed a real opportunity to select a few guys that can take us forward, and instead picked guys that won’t add a lot of value to the Boks. Vorster is one. Robert du Preeze is another. And yes, even Trokkie would have gained a lot just by traveling with the squad. Hell, give him a shot against Italy. I mean its Italy. The All Blacks are basically unleashing their under 20’s against the Barbarians this weekend. They got the formula right. In dead rubbers, let the fringe player get a go and gain experience. So that when you start to get injuries, you don’t have to call up a guy with 0 test matches. You can call up a guy with 20.

  • Johan

    Zelím Nel:
    “The Boks lost a young, invincible, 113kg eightman”
    “The kid is a beast; a 1.85m-116kg slab of momentum”

    1. Jean-Luc isn’t invincible, as he is injured
    2. Ruan Botha is 120kg <– bigger beast
    3. The kid, is 19, with very little experience, let him get local ans super rugby experience before throwing him in the deep-end. Same as should have been done with Bosch, as this weekend proved…

    I like your idea, however I would replace Bosch with Robert du Preez, who clearly won the flyhalf battle.
    Vorster is better than De Elende and should be replacing him
    Finally, I like the Ruan Botha pick, he had a good CC

    We lost against Italy last year, I don't think we are allowed to say "I mean its Italy" :D
    Lets start winning, regularly, before we chose fringe players

  • Barry Smith

    Zelim, Jean Luc is a 7, not an 8. Whilst agreeing with the missing hulk that he brings to the side, his brother can also play flank and is in fact slightly taller, and he’s packed to go!

    I am sure the Bok management would look at forwards and Backs separately, so I don’t think selecting a back as a replacement for a forward is really a workable proposal, though I do fully agree that there are better option for the squad of backs. Probably a separate debate.

    Delighted with Ruan’s selection. He has had a great season and shows great consistency and good leadership. The current Bok locks were good in the final NZ test, but let’s face it, they were pretty average in the three tests prior to that. A bit of renewed competition is a good thing.

  • Sharky

    There are so many holes in this squad and so many missed selection opportunities that to debate who should have replaced JLdP is kinda pointless. Yes Voster should be there, but so should RJvR and Venter (Kriel and De Allende should stay at home, in their bedrooms, sitting in the corner!). Others who should also be there include Robert du Preez, Bismark du Plessis, Frans Steyn, Makazole Mapimpi, Ox Nche and Marcel Coetzee. Then there are players who should be there, maybe not to get a cap but to experience the Bok culture. Those are: Juarno Augustus, Hacjivah Dayimani and Damian Willemse.

    AC has missed a trick in not incorporating more youth and experience in this squad.

  • francois williams

    Best twoloosies in SA all year Tier Schoeman and his partner Venter…but yea, no one says a word…

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