The mystery of Willie le Roux

Willie le Roux has not cracked Heyneke Meyer’s Bok training squad of 36.

There is also no place for Cheetahs world-class loose-forwards Heinrich Brussow and Lappies Labuschagne.

Le Roux is the most flamboyant of the South African back three options, the in-form South African winger in Super Rugby and the most noted omission from Meyer’s first picks of the year.

Meyer, as every coach does, qualified the squad by saying it doesn’t represent a closed shop but the failure to identify Le Roux as a squad option says more about how Meyer is investing in the conservative and predictable than a player who thrives on instinct.

There is reward for the youngsters who have made an impression in this season’s first two months of the competition and there are inclusions made on potential rather than performance.

Bulls centre Jan Serfontein is one such player. He has played less than three matches in game time but is included because of the form he showed for the Baby Boks last year.

Serfontein is being introduced to the Bok culture and it is still likely he will be used with the Baby Boks this season and introduced to Test rugby on the end of year tour.

Meyer, given the Boks play Scotland and Samoa in the home Tests, has room to mix and match veterans with new players and try out new combinations.

Sharks lock Pieter-Steph du Toit and Cheetahs centre Robert Ebersohn have demanded inclusion through consistently very good displays.

The training camp will be held from April 14-16 in Cape Town and no Kings players were considered for the camp, as they will only just have returned from overseas.

Meyer said the credentials of Kings players would be considered for the second camp, to be held in Durban and the end of May.

Meyer has kept with the core group of Boks he used last year.

Teenage flyhalf Handré Pollard, who excelled for the Baby Boks in 2012 and was the star of the Tukkies title challenge in the Varsity Cup, will remain with the Baby Boks for now.

Andries Bekker and Jacques Potgieter, tied into Japanese club commitments, were not considered. Neither was injured utility back Jaco Taute.

Juandre Kruger and Morne Steyn, who will both play in France post the Super Rugby season, are still part of the group.

Bulls utility back JJ Engelbrecht, picked to start last year, has not made the training squad.

No overseas-based players will attend the training camps.

Players invited to the first Springbok training camp of 2013:

Forwards: Tendai Mtawarira, Jannie du Plessis, Frans Malherbe, Coenie Oosthuizen, Pat Cilliers, Adriaan Strauss, Bismarck du Plessis, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Eben Etzebeth, Flip van der Merwe, Juandré Kruger, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Franco van der Merwe, Siya Kolisi, Marcell Coetzee, Willem Alberts, Arno Botha, Duane Vermeulen, Pierre Spies, Ryan Kankowski.

Backs: Jano Vermaak, Francois Hougaard, Pat Lambie, Morné Steyn, Elton Jantjies, Jean de Villiers, Frans Steyn, Juan de Jongh, Jan Serfontein, Robert Ebersohn, Bryan Habana, Lwazi Mvovo, Raymond Rhule, JP Pietersen, Bjorn Basson, Zane Kirchner.