The June Internationals are close at hand and Heyneke Meyer has already showed his hand to a certain extent by selecting a Springbok Training Group, which currently excludes players plying their trade in the UK and Europe.
The recent injury to Springbok captain, Jean de Villiers, now determines that a “Stand-in” Springbok captain will have to be selected and coupled to this the Springbok midfield positions are bound to be re-constituted.
Injuries to key players, specially flyhalf, as well as the 3-match suspension of Adriaan Strauss at hooker will see some juggling around of the match-day 23 and some very clear thinking will be required by Heyneke Meyer to address these issues.
We take a look at the Springbok Captaincy candidates as well as midfield combination and look at hooker options to function as back-up to Bismarck du Plessis.
Overseas-based Springboks Francois Louw and Ruan Pienaar will be ready for action by the time the Boks play their first game this year.
Flanker Louw, who plays for Bath in England, has recovered from an ankle injury which ruled him out for the last nine weeks. He is expected to play for Bath in their Amlin Challenge Cup final against Northampton Saints at Cardiff Arms Park on Friday.
Scrumhalf Pienaar has also returned to action for his Irish club, Ulster, after being sidelined for four weeks.
Springbok and Bath flank Francois Louw’s ankle injury does not require surgery, which means he will be able to play again this season.
One more Test match remains for the South African Springboks of Heyneke Meyer on the End Of Year Tour, probably the biggest of the 3 Tests, against the unpredictable team of France. Nick Mallett was still Springboks coach when last the Springboks won IN France, against France.
On the injury front, Francois Louw looks likely to be good to go on the weekend, with the injury he suffered not so bad and recovery going well.
France is always difficult to curb when their backline gets going, so Jaque Fourie at outside centre is under pressure to play well, both on defence and attack, where he has not really impressed on tour so far since he has re-joined from his stint in Japan.
Heyneke Meyer’s biggest quandry is probably who to pick as his starting tighthead prop for the weekend. Will it be Coenie Oosthuizen who has been the bench tighthead option in the last 2 Test or will Lourens Adriaanse supercede Coenie because Lourens is a recognised tighthead?
Rugby fans can start voting for their own International Player of the Year and World XV of the Year following the release of a 45-strong shortlist of contenders.
Part of the inaugural Ultimate Rugby IRPA Awards, the Fans’ Player of the Year, and World XV of the Year will be decided by votes cast on Ultimate Rugby’s mobile app, and announced in conjunction with other category winners on November 26.
Aviva Premiership Rugby club Bath have announced that Springbok flanker Francois Louw has signed a new long term deal with the Club.
News from the Springbok camp in Hazyview is that Francois Louw has been released early this week, to concentrate on his wedding, which takes place on Sunday. He will rejoin the Springbok camp again on Monday.
Meanwhile Francois Hougaard, who was sent to Pretoria to see a specialist following a knee cartlidge injury flare-up, and told to sit out for 2 weeks till re-evaluation, will be replaced by Louis Screuder, the Stormers scrumhalf.
Springbok and Bath loose forward Francois Louw is one of three South Africa players included in the Barbarians squad to take on England and the British and Irish Lions.
The other two South Africans included in the squad are Munster prop BJ Botha and London Wasps lock Marco Wentzel.
As pointed out by Scrumdown, one of our knowledgeable contributors, yesterday Saracens played their first Premiership game at their new home ground, the Allianz Park, in Barnet Copthall. The match was played on an artificial surface and although it is the second game that has been played there it was the first one that they played in front of ten thousand people which is a capacity crowd for the stadium.
South Africa’s star flank, Bath-based openside Francois Louw, has been cleared on a punching charge by a Rugby Football Union disciplinary hearing.
Springbok and Bath flank Francois Louw will attend an RFU disciplinary hearing following his red card for punching against Leicester on Saturday.
Louw was not the only Bath player in hot water and will be joined by teammates Matt Banahan and Lee Mears at the hearing.
Francois Louw will turn down offers from South African teams and opt for a contract extension at Bath, believes the English club’s head coach, Gary Gold.
When the Springbok squad of 31 (one more player to be added) was announced on Sunday, my first impression was that there was a squad of fully fit players, bar maybe some niggles after the Currie Cup Final of the day before.
It now appears that there were indeed real injuries to be considered, specifically the injuries of Adriaan Strauss (knee) and Francois Louw (neck) as well as Springbok Captain Jean de Villiers (hamstring).
The tournament organizers couldn’t have wished for a better start to the season with an action packed game between London Wasps and Harlequins at Twickenham. Harlequins secured a narrow victory after being more than twenty points behind with twenty minutes left to play. Ten tries were scored in total in this match.
DHL Western Province No 8 Duane Vermeulen and Toyota Free State Cheetahs flyhalf Johan Goosen are the two uncapped players that have been added to the Springbok squad for the Australasian leg of The Castle Rugby Championship.
The squad of 28 for Tests against Australia in Perth (September 8) and New Zealand in Dunedin (September 15), was finalised on Wednesday.
Apart from the inclusion of Vermeulen and Goosen, there were recalls for DHL Western Province midfielder Juan de Jongh as well as loose forward Francois Louw, who has captained Bath in England.
Current Saracens and former Lions hooker, Etienne Reyneke has been loaned to the Stormers for Super Rugby.