Jean still not rested

November 14, 2012 in International, Rugby, Rugby Championship, Springboks

It seems as if Heyneke announced the squad with only two changes from the side that beat Ireland.

Battered, bruised, but still going on…

While I am happy that De Jongh comes into the outside centre role and that Gurthro Steenkamp comes on as loosehead, I am a little bit concerned for Jean who seems to have been struggling with injury and still not being rested.

Jean has probably played the most rugby of anyone in the squad, and it’s reminiscent of a time when John Smit, as Captain, was hardly ever rested.

Jean has played 1920 minutes of Rugby this year up to before this tour, and his tally now stands on 2000 minutes for the year, a far cry from the number of minutes Tim Noakes advocated some time ago.  As the oldest player of the squad at 31 years old, he’s played more Rugby than youngsters like Etzebeth, Coetzee, Hougaard, Lambie and Frans Steyn.

In New Zealand, the only backline player who has played nearly as much as Jean, was Israel Dagg who played 2100 minutes of Rugby this season, but at age 24, his body is by far more able to cope with the strain and as a full back, he hardly takes the type of punishment that Jean does.

Jean is getting older and one should tip his hat to him for the incredible performance he’s put of this year. Having played so much Rugby and still leading the side, it’s admirable to see and as Bok supporters we should be proud of him.

But it was a mistake from Meyer to not take along a decent cover for Jean.  De Jongh has always been an Outside Centre and if Meyer is honest in his comments that he always planned to play De Jongh at 13, it is disappointing that he didn’t think of cover for the man in 12 who has been played into the ground this season.

Players like Tim Whitehead, Meyer Bosman, Marcel Brache and even Wynand Olivier could have been there as stand in players. Especially against Scotland where one would fancy your chances to rest some of your overplayed players, like Jean.

Whitehead and Brache have been impressive this season and would be welcome new faces in the Bok squad, whereas Bosman and Olivier are old hands who would easily make the step up as cover in the Bok camp.  There might be others, but their names don’t come up as I am writing this.

If Jean aggravates his injury against Scotland, he could miss out a significant portion of the match which, without adequate cover, could harm the Springboks chances of winning.  Even worse, he may be out of action for the match against England as well, and being the toughest game on this tour, I think its silly to risk Jean against the Scots.

Be that as it may, what is done is done.  Jean is getting older and won’t be there for the next World Cup. The sooner a replacement for him is groomed, the better. Frans Steyn is considered a 12 by Meyer and that is all good and well, but who is his understudy? Who will stand in when Frans gets injured again, and Jean is not available anymore?  Is Meyer even thinking that far? Because from where I am sitting, there is no-one on his radar with no inside centre going along on tour, and no inside centres being selected to cover for Frans when he got injured in the Rugby Championship.

And when the old man steps down as captain next year, which is what I expect, we will once again be left with a void, and experience will again become the excuse.

8 responses to Jean still not rested

  1. The conspiracy theorists out there are calling this a ploy by HM making sure that when the Bulls play the Stormers, their captain is overplayed and tired. The other with a bit more common sense amongst us are thinking that HM didn’t really think this through all that much, hopefully though, he learns out of his mistakes.

  2. Of the 4 #12′s you mentioned, I would have selected Whitehead and Olivier on the tour and left Jean at home. Olivier, although not liked by many in the country, is a solid 12, on both defense and attack, and is also quite experienced. Whitehead is a youngster with a good future, and although not as good as F Steyn, should really be his understudy.

    If JdJ has a good game against Scotland, which he really should considdering his opposite number, will HM start him against England? I would like to think he would, but my gut instinct tells me he won’t :(

    • Ja, look, I agree, Wynand is not my favorite player, but if there ever was someone to stand in when Jean and Frans isn’t available, it must be Wynand. Whitehead can become great and would be a good understudy. Problem if you drop Jean, who is captain? I know Adriaan is vice, but is he Bok Captain quality yet?

      • I’m not a Wynand fan either, but behind Jean and Frans he is the most experienced.

        Well, the captain issue depends on what HM’s plan is going forward. Many people are saying Flo can be the next Bok captain, so perhaps give him a chance? I wouldn’t mind Strauss being stand in captain for a game to give him a chance to prove himself, I mean, it’s only against Scotland.

  3. From the team HM has selected here, we can figure out a few things.

    1. He is heavily reliant on Frans Steyn staying injury free during the run up to and during the next World Cup. This wont happen as F. Steyn is now playing in the gruelling Super Rugby, he will be more injured than when he was in France. Maybe Lambie is his backup? As you mentioned he doesn’t seem to be interested in anyone else, apart from Mapoe but he is an outside centre/winger?

    2. The only way Elton Jantjies will be part of the Boks is if he has a miracle season at the Stormers and forces HM’s hand, or 2 of Goosen, M. Steyn or Lambie get injured. M. Steyn never gets injured, and Lambies injuries are usually short term. I don’t see Elton Jantjies featuring in the match 22/23 for any big matches next year.

    3. HM has made promises to certain players about their places in the Bok squad. Zane we all know he is not as good as Taute or Lambie or Ludik at FB, yet is still part of the match 15. Hougaard is so off form he doesn’t start for the Bulls, but is still part of the match 15. Im sure Vermaak was lured to the Bulls with Bok promises, but has yet to don the green & gold, despite being part of the extended squad all year, and other scrummie not performing. Morne Steyn has had a terrible year in internationals & has played rugby consistently for nearly 3 years without rest (until recently) yet still makes the match 22/23.

  4. Well I said HM should pick Jean and he did so I can’t back track on that. But my feeling was more towards JdJ that should make his debut on this tour (and in the HM era) as an OC his preferred position. Not at 12.
    I agree JdV needs a rest and as you said HM should have taken someone else along.

  5. Glad to see you back and blogging. Hasn’t been much worth reading lately.

    I still don’t understand why Kirchner is being picked. While he is solid he doesn’t really offer anything extra. I think with a better player at fullback will offer more options on the attack. Look at how much Dagg offers at fullback for NZ.

    • Agree HM missed a trick not giving Taute an chance at FB.
      The fact that Zane hardly ever joins the line makes it so much easier for opp defenses.
      But maybe Taute will get his chance in the last 20?
      Or prob he will come on for JdV at the end to give him some rest?

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