A total of 22 players from the Stormers and Lions have been invited to attend the national camp in Vanderbijlpark from Sunday to Wednesday, with the aim of the camp being to “accelerate preparations for the forthcoming international rugby season”.
Yes, I know that a player’s omission doesn’t necessarily mean that he can forget about putting on a green jumper in June. But if the goal of these camps is to accelerate preparations for the international season and to explain the coaching staff’s strategic thinking and systems, as SA Rugby stated, then players who are in fact in Rassie Erasmus’ plans should surely be included in these prep camps?
Anyway, whatever the reason for Leyds being left out, I think he should definitely be there. He deserves to be in the Bok squad when England arrive on South African shores.
I’m glad to see Ruan Combrinck there. I’m super stoked to see Aphiwe Dyantyi there and it was good to see Warrick Gelant and Travis Ismaiel included in the first camp.
But Leyds can add a helluva lot to the Bok backline, especially at fullback, where he has been devastating.
Sure, maybe he didn’t show everything he’s capable of when he played for the Boks.
But there are a lot of things to be taken into account there - the general performance of the Boks, the men on his inside, his opportunities and the position where he was used.
On the counter attack, in broken play, orchestrating play from the back ... Leyds has been superb in doing all of that when he’s started at fullback for the Stormers. He’s been good on the wing, too.
Yeah, the Boks can use him on the wing if they have to.
But he should be in the Bok squad come June, at least. And getting him involved in the second camp would have given him a fair chance to be on par with everyone else, in terms of preparations, if he makes the cut later this year.