Jacques Nienaber has insisted that flyhalf Handre Pollard wasn’t unfairly overlooked for the first Test against Wales on Saturday due to a selection policy.
Elton Jantjies will start at No 10 over Pollard in an overhauled Bok team to kick off the 2022 season against Wales at Loftus Versfeld.
Pollard only joined up with the Bok squad on Monday, after the World Cup-winning pivot helped guide Montpellier to the French Top 14 title three days earlier.
“He flew out on Saturday and arrived in camp on Sunday, so yes, he probably could’ve played,” said Nienaber.
“Why is he not in the 23? I suppose you can ask that of a lot of players. To be honest, there are certain boxes that we want to tick.
“There are plans for all 42 guys that are in camp with us. We’ve been open with them, and they know what our plan is.
“Obviously, the plan can change when there’s a change in performance, when a player didn’t play to expectations, or there’s an injury.
“Hopefully, our plan will come to fruition over the next three weeks.”
The Bok coach added: “We want to select a player we coached during the week. If we didn’t coach a guy on a Monday, but another guy though, we just feel that the coaching and information on the guy who did train, puts himself in a better condition [for selection].
“There’s nothing sinister about that.”