Overseas Boks still available for Coetzee

Date published: November 10 2017

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee says that some of his overseas-based players are still in his plans, despite their absence from the set-up ahead of Saturday's Test against Ireland.

Players like Duane Vermeulen and Frans Steyn's absence has been questioned by South African rugby fans. Steyn last featured against France this year, while Vermeulen's last Bok appearance came almost a year-and-a-half ago in a home series against Ireland.

Vermeulen has been struggling with numerous injuries since then, but he has now declared himself fully fit and eager to return to the Springbok set-up.

Coetzee said that he was happy with the current balance in his side but quality players such as Steyn and Vermeulen are still in the mix going forward.

"They are obviously in the bigger plan," Coetzee told Sport24.

"But I learnt lessons last year that the continuity and culture aspect of the team and time to prepare is of essence at international rugby.

"The player might be a world class player but he needs more than a Test week to settle in."

Coetzee also added that there is constant communication with both players.

"We will definitely stay in touch with those players but at this point in time I am really happy with the players that we have and giving them opportunities," he said.

"We've got a good team environment going and a good team culture … that is key for me."