South Africa and The Springbok rugby Season has sadly, but on a happy note, come to an end. The 2012 End of Year Tour provided and New Coach and a young Bok side the opportunity to gain valuable experience playing in Northern Hemisphere conditions. The tour also gave certain players the opportunity to prove that they belong on the international stage (Juan De Jong, Pat Cilliers and Adriaan Strauss). As the dust settles, one can already see the 2013 season on the horizon.
Preparations are well under way for the 2013 Season. However it’s the International Season that will interesting. Heyneke Meyer has cast his net far and wide to select the best possible players going forward.
Inured Players: With 11 injured players on the injured list, boasting over 400 caps, Meyer is surly going to give a recall to a few of these players.
Young Guns: The list of young talent (which did not make the tour) knocking on the door cannot be ignored. Kolisi, Serfontein, Jordaan, du Toit and Kitshoff all come to mind and a good 2013 Super 15 season could well see them join the Bok squad.
Current Squad: The Current Squad has had a tough 2012 and looking at the results one will see they only lost to Australia (Away) and to New Zealand. This squad has also achieved what many other sides failed to do. Remain unbeaten on the End Year Tour. These players will not be wanting to give up their spots in the Bok side and will surly up their standards in the next season.
At this point one must remind oneself that not every player can play for the Bok side. There will be some really good players who will miss out on selection.
The New Zealand Challenge: With a list of 50 possible players identified to take Bok rugby forward, South Africa will be able to challenged the Kiwis with depth and experience come the international season. In 2013 Meyer will be able to work a squad system through the incoming tours, thus keeping players fresh while blooding youngsters with the experienced players. Player management will be key as we head towards the 2nd Rugby Championship as Meyer will be aiming to have the best 30 players available.
The challenge of taking on NZ will also involve a little luck. The dreaded injury curse that South Africa experienced this year will need to be dodged. Freak injuries cannot be avoided but injuries due to poor player management player burn out can be avoided.
As the dust settles, the horizon looks bright and sunny for Bok Rugby.