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Heyneke is his own man

No matter what you think of Heyneke Meyer's Springbok squad one thing is for certain – the coach is tuning up for a verse of Frank Sinatra's I did it my way

Any Springbok squad, especially the first from a new coach, is met with a certain degree of cynicism, but Meyer is standing by what he believes and has made it clear we won't be swayed by popular opinion.

 

As the Test matches approach there are a number of people locked and loaded to fire shots at the Boks for any perceived faults, but to be calling for the coach's head before the first match has kicked off is more that a little premature.

 

By no means should we shy away from one or two, erm, shall we say 'interesting' decisions. The choice not to pick Heinrich Brussow has baffled many and if we could clone him and have three Brussows I'd pick them all in the loose trio.

 

There must have been at least one awkward moment during the match at Loftus on Saturday when somebody glanced at the piece of paper Heyneke was holding and noticed a long list of Bulls players.

 

There is something to be said for being politically savvy as a Bok coach and what Meyer does need to beware of is being perceived to be too Bulls heavy. The coaching staff, a number of fringe players and even the team manager are from the Pretoria home base.

 

Meyer has made no secret of the fact that he wants people he can trust around him, but there is an element of risk that he will be accused of Bulls bias should the wheels come off.

 

The olive branch was finally extended with Jean de Villiers' selection as captain ahead of Bulls skipper Pierre Spies. The veteran centre has done a sterling job this season with the Stormers in Schalk Burger's absence and is a good choice.

 

Having a Capetonian skipper might also take some of the heat off the coach, while the majority of the complaints will be forgotten in a victory celebration. Playing winning rugby is what Meyer is banking on to silence the critics and he is the best qualified coach the Springboks have had in a very long time.

 

Until the fat lady sings there is no need to off your IHWT (In Heyneke We Trust) bracelets, as a winning team without a few choice names is far superior to a losing side with all your favourites. Besides a whole bag of 'I told you so' can help repair wounds, while a big slice humble pie will taste sweet if we smash the English.

 

By Timmy Hancox

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