‘Jaco Kriel should be with Boks’

Six former Springboks on the two Bok training squads and who they think was unlucky to miss out on selection.

Braam van Straaten (former Bok flyhalf)

'I was pleasantly surprised with the two Bok squads, as they are not what I expected. Heyneke Meyer's decision to invite the youngsters shows the door is not closed for fringe players who are outperforming the senior statesmen. I'm particularly happy for Jesse Kriel, Francois Venter and Warren Whiteley and I hope they get an opportunity to play in the Rugby Championship. I would have included Ruan Combrinck as well, but the unluckiest player has to be Jaco Kriel. I can't believe he is not there. Kriel is probably one of the best players in the competition and the best player, along with Marcell Coetzee, in the South African conference.'

André Pretorius (former Bok flyhalf)

'I don't have a problem with the two squads at all. There was no one who I thought should have been selected but wasn't, and I think the right players are there. I’m really happy to see Faf de Klerk included, as he would have been very unlucky to have missed out.'

Corné Krige (former Bok flank)

'They are encouraging squads for the youngsters. The three new faces [Vincent Koch, Cheslin Kolbe and Faf de Klerk] really deserve a look in, but it will be interesting to see how the squad shapes up once the overseas-based players are considered. I don’t think anyone was unlucky to miss out; all the players who’ve shown Super Rugby form are in there, and deserving of their chance.'

Ollie le Roux (former Bok prop)

'It's a fairly good squad, but the exclusion of Frans Steyn and Flip van der Merwe shocked me. Steyn is a big loss to any team because he adds so much value, although he has tough competition with the in-form Damian de Allende who has been thriving with the Stormers for the past two seasons. Van der Merwe is needed in the squad. He is an experienced lock with the ability to cover both lock positions. What I admire about Heyneke is his fondness of selecting in-form players, even though it's only a training squad. But the selection of Dean Greyling perhaps emphasises Meyer's nepotism toward the Bulls. The prop does not add much and he has not been good at all this season. I'm happy to see Steven Kitshoff in the squad. He is SA's best loosehead at the moment.'

James Dalton (former Bok hooker)

'Frans Steyn's exclusion doesn't surprise me. If one looks at accountability, he has been very mischievous with all his incidents. His talent is undeniable but he is a high-risk factor and Heyneke will look at that. It is very mature of Heyneke to acknowledge the good performances of players receiving their first call-up, but there'll always be one or two problematic selections. You don't have to be a scrum expert to see the lacklustreness of Dean Greyling. He has not been good at all. Steven Kitshoff is not only a very good scrummager but an 80-minute contributor. He carries the ball with effect, tackles with effect and has been SA's standout player this season.'

Cobus Visagie (former Bok prop)

'The two squads are a good mixture of youth, experience and form. It'll be interesting to see what happens when Heyneke trims down the squad, because that will serve as an indication of who will travel to the World Cup. For me, there are no notable omissions. All the players who are in contention for a place in the starting XV are there. Meyer got his training group spot on.'

Springbok training squads

Jon Cardinelli: Flip the surprise omission

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

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Mariette Adams