Jake White will give Jake Boer a chance to show he can dance on the biggest stage when the Springboks play the World XV in Johannesburg.
But Boer, South African born and consistently one of Gloucester’s stars for the last five years, won’t be playing for the Springboks. He will be in the World XV team.
White explained the selection to Keo.co.za: “His is a name I hear a lot of. Players speak highly of him. Coaches applaud his efforts, but all I have to go on is his Premiership form. There is no doubt he is a quality loose-forward, but is he as good or better than what I have got. Would he make the side ahead of Schalk Burger, Juan Smith, AJ Venter, Joe van Niekerk, Pedrie Wannenburg, Solly Tyibilika … Wikus van Heerden. I can’t give you that answer. The best way is to compare apples with apples and put him against these guys and the World XV game gives me that opportunity.
“I was called to find out whether I had any specific player I wanted to be involved in the World XV and I said I wanted Jake Boer to play against us. It will be an opportunity for him to push for greater recognition when it comes to determining the make-up of the World Cup squad, which will be played in northern hemisphere conditions. It is a chance for him and not a guarantee of anything. But as I have said all along I will explore every avenue to get the right squad for France 2007.”
Boer was initially a target of Rudolf Straeuli prior to the 2003 World Cup but negotiations fell through without Straeuli and Boer ever meeting.
White also confirmed he would consider Breyton Paulse for the 2006 international season.
“I believe he will be signing for Western Province again in June and he will be a part of our plans. He has test experience I won’t overlook and he’s always produced for me. He will feature in the squad, but again it is not a guarantee that he will start.”