rugby365.com columnist Grant Ball says Francois Louw's selection for the Springbok squad is the correct one, but only highlights the lack of planning from management.
Just 11 days before the Bok World Cup announcement, Louw was on a plane heading for Bath. Two Tests later and the resultant success of Heinrich Brüssow against Australia and New Zealand, and Louw came into the reckoning.
The question is, why did it take so long for Peter de Villiers to recognise Brüssow and Louw's value? The selectors admitted they made an error in not having Louw more involved in the squad, but just because they've acknowledged it, doesn't make it forgivable. It's their job to make the correct calls, and when their mistakes are as obvious as this, it deserves scrutiny.
This indecision is from the same coach who wanted to drop Brüssow before the France Test in Toulouse in 2009, only for late injuries to force his hand and pick Brüssow for that match (incidentally he was the best Bok on the field).
Louw wasn't even included in the first Bok training group of 37 this year. If De Villiers really had a plan and an idea of the way he wanted to play and what he wanted to achieve from certain Tests – instead of going from tour to tour and picking random players on ad-hoc basis – Louw would've been used on the November tour last year, in order to work in certain combinations. Instead, he handed out a Bok blazer to Deon Stegmann, one of many loose forwards to be used by De Villiers – simply highlighting his confused state and lack of clarity in what he wants.
This is shown by De Villiers selecting Schalk Burger, Pierre Spies, Juan Smith, Ryan Kankowski, Brüssow, Davon Raubenheimer, Ashley Johnson, Luke Watson, Keegan Daniel, Willem Alberts, and Dewald Potgieter during his tenure.
Throughout, it's been clear De Villiers hasn't learnt from his mistakes, and here's hoping he doesn't try and pull a similar trick during the World Cup, turning his back on either Brüssow or Louw if they have one quieter performance.
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