Fetcher free Boks …

So much for not giving every player in the squad a run …

Aplon, Hougaard, Alberts and CJ get starts, while Chiliboy gets a spot on the bench, meaning that after the Namibian game, every player will have had some sort of role in a RWC game …

Which is not a bad thing as one never knows who will need to be called upon later in the tournament … And Div has done it without falling into the Graham Henry trap of playing too many players into form by making sweeping changes every game. In a way, he has actually been aided by the injury issues …

The potential hiccup of playing the dirt trackers in the big wins is two fold: The so called A team players miss out on the chance to be involved in fun, high scoring confidence boosting games, and the so called B team players look fantastic, thus confusing the selection process.

A third string Bok side would be good enough to dispatch Namibia, so it makes no sense to raise too much of a sweat regarding this week’s selection, but a few of them do warrant some discussion …

Keeping Lambie at the back and Steyn at 12 (partnering Fourie, instead of giving De Jongh a run) points to this being Div’s starting combination.

Awesome to see Aplon and Hougaard being given a run. I think both have a chance of breaking into the Test side starting XV … Especially the latter, who to my mind is not only the best scrummie in the squad at the moment, but also the best wing! His versatility does make him an awesome impact player from the bench though.

A lot of people are saying that Alberts deserves his start, and based on my reasoning above, he probably does. But with no lock on the bench due to injuries, I think it would have made sense to keep him on the bench to cover lock. He gets used extensively from the bench so is certainly not lacking game time …

But perhaps the more important reasons to keep him on the bench would be to improve the balance of the loose trio and to give Francois Louw some seriously needed game time. As it stands the Boks are either going to ask Burger to tweak his game to play more of a fetching role, or they are going to play without one … And we all know how the Aussies went without Pocock against the Irish …

Worryingly, this selection points to what Div would do if the Boks did lose Brussow! I think it would have made sense to have replaced like with like, and given Louw a start in the fetching role, linking up with Burger and Spies – who now owes both the team and selectors a very big performance.

Much consternation on Twitter last night re Bismarck being left out of the 22 altogether … He would be my starting hooker so I certainly share the frustration, but that ship has sailed. Smit is Div’s man and he will play every game the Boks play. It makes sense to give Chiliboy a taste of the action, so Bismarck is the man to drop out of the 22 … Over.

More concerning is the trouble the Du Plessis brothers will get up to now that they are BOTH out of the match 22 …

South Africa v Namibia, 22 September 2011, North Harbour Stadium, Auckland:

15 Pat Lambie, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Willem Alberts, 5 Danie Rossouw, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 CJ van der Linde, 2 John Smit (captain), Gurthro Steenkamp.

Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Francois Louw, 19 Heinrich Brüssow, 20 Fourie du Preez, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Juan de Jongh.

If Habana does not get that elusive Bok try scoring record on Thursday, he never will … Like Spies, he has been given a LOT of chances in the Green and Gold … Time for payback …


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