The poor old Springboks just can’t seem to miss a trick these days as they stumble their way to New Zealand to defend their World Crown.
At the team announcement, there were no missing players like Australia, but they had Ard Matthews butcher their national anthem. So bad was it that the government have stepped in and asked for an explanation.
Coach Pieter de Villiers must have been relieved that for once he was not the centre of criticism, as he asked Springbok fans to keep the faith, and picked 18 players from the World Cup winning squad, deciding to go with experience ahead of possibly form.
The big concern we see is the form of Fourie du Preez, four years ago he was the best half back in the world, but in his Tri Nations appearances is far from as sharp at the back of his forwards as he will need to be, come the World Cup. Has he really recovered from his shoulder injury? Ruan Pienaar is not an adequate replacement with his distribution simply too slow, so the tournament may see the need to hand the role to Francois Hougaard if the Boks are to progress further than the quarter finals.
Captain John Smit will be there again, and as great a leader as he is does he deserve his place in the team, and by playing him will that limit the team. De Villiers needs Smit, but it could be a sad way for a great leader to sign off from international rugby.
It matters little at the moment as the battle rages on about the man who ruined the national anthem and who gave him the task of singing it.
Check it out.