Jacques Neinaber has insisted that those players selected for the Springbok alignment camps, starting this week, are not de facto call-ups for the three-Test series against Wales in July.
The Bok coach also moved to dispel reports suggesting that in-form players in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship were being snubbed.
Prior to Saturday’s north-south derby in Cape Town, Keo.co.za suggested that the squad called up to attend the Bok workshops in Durban (10-12 April) and Cape Town (1-5 May) would exclude 30-Test Bok Marcell Coetzee of the Vodacom Bulls and the Stormers’ rampaging Evan Roos, who have had a profound impact on their respective sides’ URC campaigns.
The Bok management have as yet not released the list of players who will be part of the first alignment camp, although it will reportedly include the injured duo of Stormers lock Salmaan Moerat and Bulls flyhalf Johan Goosen.
Nienaber has addressed the elephant in the room (Roos and Coetzee alignment camp omissions) with a barrage of sound info and reasoning that is hard to challenge without access to his level of data. And no one has his level of data. #rugby
— Craig Ray (@craigray11) April 10, 2022
Speaking to the media on Sunday, Nienaber said: “Not everyone who is invited to this alignment camp will be going to the next one and that also doesn’t extend to selection for the Wales squad. Also, exclusion from the alignment camp doesn’t mean you’re not going to be picked for the Wales series.
“The camps are for aligning coaches and players. We know what a player can bring to the party as we’ve worked with most players before. The purpose of the alignment camps is to share details of this year’s schedule and the one planned for 2023.
“We already have our France 2023 schedules and also what we want to see from players on and off the field.”
The Bok boss says a prime objective of the alignment camps is to just talk with players – like Goosen – who he has yet to work with. Nienaber added: “One of the things I want to do in the alignment camps is to have a chat with [Goosen] to see if I can pick up on his character … Try to know him a bit better and find out where he’s at in terms of his rugby career.
“Is playing for the Boks something he’d aspire to? Does he still want to play for the Springboks at the World Cup? It’s things like that, and I’m not saying that’s the only reason he’s been invited to the alignment camp – 80% of the conversations will be generic and 20% of the conversations will differ from individual to individual.”