Stormers coach Kobus van der Merwe will be “worried” if Jake White does not include Luke Watson in an enlarged 45-man Springbok squad.
Watson is not one of White’s favourite players, but has had a superb Vodacom Super 14 and on current form should walk into the side. However, the Stormers flank is expected to be overlooked once again, while out-of-form Solly Tyibilika â€“ who has spent most of the season in the Vodacom Cup â€“ gets a free pass.
“I know Jake’s looking for a taller loose forward whom he can use in the line-outs and it’s his prerogative to choose whoever he wants,” Van der Merwe told Die Burger’s Herbert Pretorius. “But, it will worry me if Luke isn’t invited to join an enlarged training squad in one of his loose forward combinations.
“I know White has said in the past that he won’t include Luke and Schalk (Burger) in the same side (because he considers both to be openside flankers), but they combined very well for the Stormers.”
“Statistics show that other combinations did not even come close to them in the Super 14. Players like Richie McCaw, George Smith and, at times, Phil Waugh made bigger individual contributions, but, as a combination, Luke and Schalk made a bigger impact than any other flank combination.”
Should he fail to make the Bok squad, Watson will get another chance to stake his claim for higher honours when he plays for the World XV against White’s side (and possibily Schalk Burger) on 3 June at Ellis Park.