There are normally three kinds of surprises: the nice, the not so nice and the totally unexpected or, if you wish, the good, the bad and the ugly.
The inclusion of some players in the extended squad are to be welcomed, including those who played their way in during the Super 15 season. Scarra Ntubeni, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Rudy Paige, Faf de Klerk, Jesse Kriel, Franco Mostert, Heinrich Brüssow, Warren Whiteley and Lionel Mapoe deserve recognition for showing their mettle in the tough competition.
It is difficult to speculate on players who ply their trade overseas, as we see so very little of them. Some, like Francois Louw and Ruan Pienaar even made the news here, but others, were probably included on services rendered in the past, and their experience in European conditions.
While Morné Steyn appears to always find favour with Heyneke Meyer, we now know why Zane Kirchner is a surprise inclusion – he will cover the outside centre berth while Jean de Villiers recuperates.
The Flip van der Merwe saga remains a bit of a mystery, particularly in view of the shortage of quality locks due to injury. If the Frans Steyn hatchet could be buried, why not Flip’s? Despite misgivings about his tendency to attract yellow cards, he may be a vital cog in the UK.
A surprise inclusion, for me, was Schalk Brits, even though he is a player I enjoy watching. In view of the important role Franco Mostert may have to fulfil, I thought that Robbie Coetzee should also have received the nod, given his sterling play for the Lions.
The news that Fourie du Preez will be out for six weeks may just pave the way for Francois Hougaard’s return after his surprise omission from the squad. I would have picked him ahead of JP Pietersen anyway, both on form and commitment, not to mention his defensive abilities.
Another player many regard as unlucky not to have made it is Jaco Kriel, but really – in place of which of the present incumbents? Meyer said that, if he included Kriel, he would have had to leave out Brüssow.
Ek kan my indink hoe die manne in Bloemfontein net daar hul boktruie sou verbrand.
Hoe lyk ons Bok Pak?
Dankie aan diegene wat hul mening gegee het.
Loskop: Stephen Kitshoff (48%); Beast (40%)
Vaskop: Vincent Koch (48%); Frans Malherbe (30%)
Haker: Bismarck (56%); Strauss (44%)
Slotte: Ysterbeth (100%); Victor Matfield (48%)
Flanke: Flo Louw (52%); Schalk Burger (44%)
Agsteman: Duanne Vermeulen (100%); Whiteley (4%). The rest: (0%)
Kies jou agterspelers
Beserings gaan noodwendig ‘n rol speel in die finale samestelling van ons span. Mens moet in gedagte hou dat ‘n klomp goeie indiwidue nie noodwendig die beste span gaan wees nie. Kombinasies gaan ‘n belangrike faktor wees, soos byvoorbeeld die haker saam met die slotte, skakelpaar, senterpaar, agterste driehoek.
Die grootste kopseer gaan waarskynlik wees om ‘n buitesenter te kies.
Nou toe, jy weet mos wie jy daar wil sien – druk die groen knoppie!