Jake White says that if he were Bok coach, he would place an emphasis on achieving transformation targets when picking the side to face Wales on 2 June.
In his latest column for AllOutRugby, the former Bok coach suggested picking a locally-based team to face Wales as players based in Europe will likely not be available for selection because the Test falls outside the official window.
He also suggested that the Bok coach would have to meet a ‘50% transformation quota during the season’ and that the once-off Test would provide an ideal opportunity to work toward those targets.
‘The rules that Erasmus will have to play by are based on team performance and the requirements of the Strategic Transformation Plan. I would strive to make the most of those rules to create depth and playing opportunities for black players while trying to win championships along the way – these are the things that the Bok coach is going to get measured on.
‘The Test against Wales in Washington DC falls outside the official window, so it’s very unlikely that the overseas-based players will be released for duty. June is the point of the European season where the playoffs take place and teams like Montpellier, Toulon and Saracens won’t release players.
‘So how can we work the situation to get the most out of that Test, while still giving the Boks a chance to make a winning start to the season, and at the same time ensure we’re ready to host England the following week?
‘If I was the Bok coach, I’d look to pick a team against Wales that is made up of local players with a special emphasis on those that count towards the transformation targets.
‘Siya Kolisi would potentially captain a side that featured Tendai Mtawarira, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Trevor Nyakane, Marvin Orie, Lood de Jager, Thembalani Bholi, Nizaam Carr, Embrose Papier, Damian Willemse, Raymond Rhule, Damian de Allende, Lionel Mapoe, Ruan Combrinck and Warrick Gelant.
‘While the one Bok squad is in the USA, a second group that includes SA’s most experienced players is at home preparing for the England series. There, you pick all the veterans that understand the pressures of Test rugby and who have played against the England players in the English Premiership and the Champions Cup.
‘The team might look something like this: Steven Kitshoff, Malcolm Marx, Vincent Koch, Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Francois Louw, Jean-Luc du Preez, Duane Vermeulen, Faf de Klerk, Handré Pollard, Aphiwe Dyanti, Frans Steyn, Lukhanyo Am, Sbu Nkosi and Willie le Roux, with guys like Bismarck du Plessis, Elton Jantjies and Curwin Bosch in the training squad.
‘This certainly doesn’t mean that those who face Wales won’t be selected the following week – if anyone has a blinder, they could definitely force changes and the experience of a player like Mtawarira would make it difficult not to include him against England.
‘Leading up to the first Test against England, you’ve given guys Test match experience at the back end of a Super Rugby campaign, and you’ve spent a week preparing your most experienced squad for the series.’
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