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CAPE TOWN – Did Nizaam Carr not deserve a Springbok call-up? If you look at Allister Coetzee’s squad for the End of Year tour, apparently not. And it really puzzles me.
Carr has been immense this year, and when Province kicked off their Currie Cup campaign, the 26-year-old built on his Super Rugby form and looked even better in the domestic competition.

Carr has perfectly blended his well-known portfolio as a very skilful player with the grittier stuff – he didn’t just show his speed, his ball-carrying ability and his linking play this year, he’s also shown that he can bring the physicality when needed, and his solid work on the ground spoke for itself.

But as those involved in rugby in whatever sense will always be quick to remind you – the Currie Cup is far from the ideal Springbok barometer (although those same individuals sometimes forget that notion when they tout players who haven’t even been outstanding in the Currie Cup competition – players who have managed to just do the basics well – as being worthy of a Bok call-up). And that we all know.

Patchy attendances and a seemingly reducing fan interest have plagued the world’s oldest domestic competition this season. It’s been happening for a while now, and it becomes more apparent every year.

Often, when fans get into Bok-selection debates on social media, you see someone saying just because a player looked good in whatever Currie Cup match, doesn’t mean he’s automatically international material (sometimes, though, that person just doesn’t rate the player being discussed).

And that’s true. Just because a player has a solid, maybe even a standout Currie Cup run, doesn’t mean he’ll make a fine Test player, or that he can even cut it at international level.

Like it or not, “Currie Cup star” doesn’t automatically equal “Springbok”. But Carr is not just a Currie Cup specialist. And the opportunity to build on his five Test caps would have been well deserved.

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