Well yesterday I theoretically took a squad of 30 players from the extended group of 49 chosen, with me to the world cup. Today I will pick a 22 based on those 30 players for a theoretical final and then I will pick a 22 based on form of the Super15 and see what the differences are. Who knows what might happen. So here goes:
Team for a final at the WC out of 30 man squad:
Bismarck du Plessis
Jannie du Plessis
Juan Smith (C)
Fourie du Preez
Jean de Villiers – barring injury otherwise Frans Steyn
Team for a final at the WC out of Super15 form:
Bismarck du Plessis
Jean de Villiers
Sarel Pretorius – though I don’t like his defence
Now I know Bulls supporters will moan because their latest “liefling” isn’t chosen but as you can see in the make-up of the squad there is little bias. Enjoy and let’s hear the critique…
I have been absent for a very long time… almost the entire Super15 series in fact. Well mostly I have been too busy (yes, a full time job is time consuming), other times I have been sick and mostly just too bloody lazy to type! However I now seem to have a bit more time on my hands as well as a happy beat in my heart as I just got engaged. But I am not here to talk about that. I am here to talk about the 49 players that have been chosen for the preliminary WC squad and who I would pick as my 30 to go.
So firstly, congratulations to all 49 of you that were picked. Now I am mostly happy about the squad though there are once again a lot of free loaders going along. Why were Spies, Januarie, Jacobs, BJ Botha and Johan Muller chosen? We know what Muller and Botha can offer but truth be told every time BJ has played for the Boks he has not impressed one bit. Muller I always rated as a lock but don’t think he can offer us what we need anymore. Januarie, Spies and Jacobs have only delivered substandard performances but still get the nod… erm… why? Januarie and Jacobs I can understand, I mean colour is a big prerequisite, but why Spies? He is white! (No points for deciding who I’ll get rid of in my final squad).
I also understand SA Rugby is waiting on papers for Mujati which is why he isn’t in the squad yet… from what I have seen of the Heineken Cup and Guinness Premiership is that we would be absolute idiots not to include him! The man can scrum! And his general play seems quite good!
So here goes… my squad of 30 I’ll pick for the world cup and reasons for taking and dropping a player:
Beast Mtwarira – might not be the strangest but he is no push over! Always gives 700%!
Jannie du Plessis – the doc is a great scrummager… we need him.
Coenie Oosthuizen – This young kid has it all… including a goose step! Brilliant!
Dean Greyling – has proven his worth at the Bulls. Strong scrummager and ball carrier.
Brian Mujati – I am only putting his name here if his papers clear… if it does I would drop Greyling for Mujati
BJ Botha – hasn’t convinced me when playing for the Boks.
Werner Kruger – a good player but there are better that can go.
Guthro Steenkamp – hasn’t played all year… good in the loose but we have better scrummers.
Bismarck du Plessis – we would be idiots for not picking him!
John Smit – being needlessly criticised… I still rate him.
Chilliboy Ralepelle – playing some bloody good ruggers!
Adriaan Strauss – good hooker but not the best.
Victor Matfield – been playing better of late but I still feel Bekker and Van Zyl are better 5’s
Bakkies Botha – getting back to just doing his job… lets hope he leaves the little ones alone!
Andries Bekker – no ignoring the potential of this tall timber. Plays the tight games just as well as the loose ones now.
Danie Russouw – Back to his best. Great ball carrier… would also pick him at 8 above most.
Johan Muller – is good but we have better. Great leader though.
Alistair Hargreaves – lucky Bok in my opinion though he had a great game against the Bulls this weekend.
Flip van der Merwe – useless waste! Gives away too many penalties. Don’t know what the Bok management see in him.
Schalk Burger – playing some of his best rugby and proving he is a very capable leader!
Juan Smith – because the whole of SA knows how good he is!
Heinrich Brussouw – showed enough when he did play to show he is still a threat on the ground
Ashley Johnson – this guy has been awesome this season! Deserves it!
Francois Louw – Just as good and destructive as most. Added bonus of being good at the breakdowns
Deon Stegmann – why is he in the squad in the first place?
Willem Alberts – powerhouse comes to mind or picture a destructive truck.
Pierre Spies – because I would pick everyone else above him. As cover in the squad you have Russouw (a WC winning 8th man) and Johnson.
Ryan Kankowski – he disappears in tight games and at the business end of a WC all games are tight!
Duane Vermuelen – I would love to take this rock along but there just isn’t room!
Fourie du Preez – master class! Dictates well and has a very educated boot.
Francois Hougaard – nuggety, hard, quick, great service and reads a game very well.
Ruan Pienaar – had a stellar season up north somewhere.
Ricky Januarie – enough said!
Butch James – has been showing at the Lions what great quality he still is! Starter!
Patrick Lambie – Who needs Steyn when you have this kid?
Morne Steyn – He is more one dimensional than a Kurt Darren song. Can’t play of the back foot.
Elton Jantjies – hasn’t improved on last year’s promise.
Jean de Villiers – along with Jaques Fourie forms a formidable midfield. Great vision.
Jaques Fourie – midfield general and all round communicator. Add his running lines and defence and you have a master!
Juan de Jongh – learning under the best there is in the country. Can play inside or out, has a deadly step and hand-off and punches well above his weight.
Adrian Jacobs – offers nothing besides good hands.
Wynand Olivier – great super rugby player… crap international player. Can’t make the step up.
JP Pieterson – he has shown sublime form and he has been there before.
Bryan Habana – finding his form slowly but getting there plus he has been there before.
Lwazi Mvovo – great all-round winger and proven he has an eye for the try line. England should remember him well.
Gio Aplon – added bonus of being able to cover fullback and wing. Punches well above his weight and can turn nothing into something in the blink of an eye.
Bjorn Basson – great in the air, excellent finisher but bad tackler when they come at him! Just needs the confidence.
Odwa Ndungane – Mr Reliable… just that the others have something extra.
Frans Steyn – BMT ring a bell? Too much class to not pick him.
Zane Kirchner – erm because anyone else is better, namely Riaan Viljoen.