Bok coach Heyneke Meyer has missed a golden opportunity to bring WP and Stormers back-row Nizaam Carr in to his Test squad.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has missed a golden opportunity to bring Western Province and Stormers back-row Nizaam Carr in to his Test squad.
A place in the run-on side – against a team of England’s calibre – might be a bit premature but I believe Carr could definitely have done a job off the two-time world champions’ replacements bench at Twickenham this weekend.
I feel Meyer has made a mistake to include Teboho Mohoje as a reserve ahead of Carr who is more versatile and a player who can add a different dimension – compared to your stereotypical South African loose forward – to Springboks’ back row play.
Unfortunately, Mohoje has not made the most of his chances at Test level and Schalk Burger’s elevation ahead of the Cheetahs man to the starting line-up for the crunch clash with England was not surprising.
Mohoje has been average at best, since making his run-on debut against the Wallabies in a Rugby Championship clash in Cape Town during September and is yet to play more than 60 minutes in a Test.
He has been yanked off between the 45th and 55th minutes in all of his starting Tests – something which is unlikely to happen to the more experienced Burger against England.
While Mohoje has proven to be solid – but unspectacular – that is not what will be needed if he comes off the bench this weekend. A replacement must make an impact when he comes onto the field and Carr fits the bill perfectly in that aspect.
He has a high work-rate, superb ball skills, flair and vision and won’t let any side down on defence. In fact, he was so prolific as a tackler during Western Province’s triumphant Currie Cup campaign, earlier this year, that he finished the tournament having made more tackles (200) than any other player in the competition.
While the standard of the game at Currie Cup level is far inferior to the Test arena, Carr has the ability to make the step up as proven in the Super Rugby competition earlier this year.
He started that tournament as a replacement in the Stormers squad but his superb form saw him finishing as the Cape Town-based outfit’s first-choice openside flanker.
Hopefully Carr’s fine all-round skillset will be rewarded with a Bok debut sooner rather than later.
Of Meyer’s other selections, for Saturday’s Test the demotion of Handr