; The hits and misses of the latest Springbok squad – The Citizen

The hits and misses of the latest Springbok squad

Lukhanyo Am deserves his chance. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

Lukhanyo Am deserves his chance. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

Lukhanyo Am is surprisingly close to a Jan Serfontein replacement but Curwin Bosch will elicit mixed feelings plus there’s a dodgy tighthead.

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee on Sunday placed a premium on continuity by picking most of the players that have served him in 2017.

While it should give some of those men confidence given the faith showed in them, there are still glaring weaknesses in the squad.

Here are the men Coetzee should be lauded for selecting … as well as the questionable ones.

THE HITS

Lukhanyo Am:

The 23-year-old Sharks centre was in line to be involved against France earlier this year before an untimely broken jaw.

But that setback didn’t lead him to despair.

Instead, Am simply continued to perform consistently and now surely will get the look-in he deserves.

Much like Jan Serfontein, he’s not necessarily a flashy player but a reliable organiser that defends tightly.

Warrick Gelant:

Sometimes populism is a good thing, particularly in this instance.

The gifted Blue Bulls fullback has been the most talked about player in the Currie Cup campaign, where his eye for space and ability to ruin defences had tongues wagging.

In a Springbok backline that has been criticised for lacking creativity, Gelant provides some much-needed X-factor.

Curwin Bosch:

That drop goal in the Currie Cup final said it all: this 20-year-old has a remarkable calmness about him.

In European conditions, it’s never bad to have a kicker of his calibre and this tour could be an enriching experience for him.

THE MISSES

Curwin Bosch:

As much as he’s a hit, he’s also a miss.

No-one doubts that Bosch has a prodigious boot and every now and then surprises with a silky linebreak.

But his defence remains a major problem, a flaw exposed by Western Province in the Currie Cup final.

In a backline that already has a problem with dodgy defending on the wings, it’s the last thing the Springboks need.

Ruan Dreyer:

Despite his relative success at the Lions, the 27-year-old tighthead simply doesn’t look like a prop of international class.

His scrumming technique leads to far too many penalties and his underrated ball-carrying skills has gone missing in the Green-and-Gold.

With Coenie Oosthuizen back from injury and young Wilco Louw already ahead in the pecking order, his selection is strange.

Chiliboy Ralepelle:

When the Springboks returned from national duty for the Currie Cup run-in, the Sharks couldn’t be bothered to pick him.

It’s actually a bit of an embarrassing situation that a Springbok hooker still counts as the third-choice player in his position at his province.

Who’s fooling who here?

That said, Ralepelle’s selection isn’t necessarily shocking but rather an indictment on the depth in the position in general.

Am and Gelant rewarded but Springboks still have holes

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