Flip still considering Bok future

Flip van der Merwe has suggested he would be willing to reopen communication lines in order to clarify his Springbok availability. CRAIG LEWIS reports.

When the 49-man Springbok squad was named at the end of last month, it was stated that Van der Merwe had ruled himself out of Bok contention.

Van der Merwe will feature off the bench for the World XV when they take on the Springboks this Saturday, with the 30-year-old set to join French club Clermont later this year.

While remaining relatively non-committal, Van der Merwe didn’t rule out the possibility of playing for the Boks again.

‘I think there was a bit of a communication gap somewhere,’ he said at a press engagement on Thursday. ‘We’ll see after Saturday, [Bok coach] Heyneke [Meyer] has said the door is open to everyone, and if you’re good enough you can get selected.’

Van der Merwe, who has played 35 Tests for South Africa, said he would do whatever he could to support the Boks going into the World Cup later this year.

‘I know Heyneke is a busy man in a World Cup year. Ultimately, rugby is an easy game, if you’re good enough you will be selected. So that’s my job, just to be good enough, and then the rest is not up to me.’

World XV coach Robbie Deans said he was looking forward to the impact Van der Merwe could make off the bench.

‘I’m sure Flip will be highly motivated when we unleash him.’

Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

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Craig Lewis