Ricky Januarie would have started against Boland had WP coach Allister Coetzee received adequate notice of the Springbok scrumhalf’s availability.
Gurthro Steenkamp and Chiliboy Ralepelle were released to play for the Blue Bulls at the beginning of the week despite being named in the 27-man Bok squad set to travel to Australasia. Januarie, a player who has hardly featured for the Boks in 2009 and is desperate for game time, was only released on Tuesday which according to Coetzee is too late for consideration.
‘When your Springboks are available, you want to play them,’ he told keo.co.za. ‘I would definitely have given Ricky a chance to play this Saturday, but I only found out he was available on Tuesday at around lunch-time. By then we had already had three training sessions.
‘I know the Bulls were notified well in advance. If I had known on the Sunday, I would have had no problem giving Ricky a game. But as it stands, it’s unfair to just bring him in knowing he’s going to be off in a week’s time. It’s also disruptive to our preparation.’
WP have three other scrumhalves in Dewaldt Duvenhage, Bolla Conradie and Conrad Hoffmann. However, there is an understanding that a Springbok is almost always first-choice.
Meanwhile, one Bok has been attending WP training with the aim of staying a fit ahead of his return to Test rugby. Schalk Burger may not be eligible until 22 August due to an eight-week ban, but is still keeping fit at WP’s High Performance Centre in the interim.
By Jon Cardinelli