The make-up of Allistair Coetzee’s 18-man ‘rehabilitation and conditioning’ squad has potentially given an insight into the head coaches mind frame regarding squad selection heading into the Rugby Championship.
The training squad currently does not involve any foreign-based players or Lions players competing in this weekend’s Super Rugby final, but many of these players are poised to be included in Coetzee’s final squad selection which is set to be revealed following Saturday’s clash in Wellington.
However, the lack of a number of names has somewhat stood out from the training squad sheet, non more so than full-back Willie Le Roux.
Le Roux had been involved in South Africa’s 2-1 test series win over Ireland last June but was by no means at his best over the course of the difficult campaign for the Springboks, or indeed the Sharks’ Super Rugby campaign.
In Le Roux’s wake both the Bulls’ Jesse Kriel and Durban Sharks man Pat Lambie, who can play at both ten and fifteen, would seem like the likely contenders to replace Le Roux at full back, while hugely in form Lions winger Ruan Combrinck also has proficient experience in the position, as does Racing 92 player Johann Goosen who predominantly plys his trade at centre.
It now seems that Le Roux’s time in South Africa is to come to an end with South African publication Rapport indicating that the Shark is now set for a move to Japan to join the Canon-Eagles.