De Villiers outlines selection plan
March 9, 2010
Peter De Villiers will select only a hnadful of contracted Springboks to face Wales © Getty Images
South Africa coach Peter De Villiers will select only two contracted Springbok players from each Super 14 franchise for their June Test with Wales in Cardiff.
De Villiers is focusing on their Tri-Nations defence and with the Test coming five days after the completion of the Super 14 season, on June 5, he has opted to utilise their overseas strength.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has a policy to exclude foreign-based players from selection but De Villiers is willing to overlook that and give the likes of BJ Botha, CJ van der Linde, Wikus van Heerden, Butch James, Jean de Villiers and Frans Steyn a chance to forward their claims for a World Cup place.
"Our focus will definitely be on the Tri-Nations this year, given that we play our first game of the tournament at the same venue where we'll be based for next year's World Cup," he told the Johannesburg-based Times. "We'd be stupid not to focus on that game and, by extension, on the entire Tri-Nations tournament.
"I will take only two [contracted] Boks to Wales from each franchise, at most. By choosing overseas-based players for the Wales Test we won't be putting the Springbok brand at risk. Instead, it will be an opportunity for us. We won't have another chance to look at these players and at our depth again.
"I have to think about what will be best for the Springboks with a view to the World Cup, and I would be skinned by the media if I didn't take the opportunity to look at players based in Cardiff. I'm loath to say it, but this could be a one-off trial for players overseas to push for a World Cup place."
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September