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Brussow faces battle to return

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Sportal.co.nz     29 Jun 2012     Getty Images

Regarded as a player capable of footing it with All Blacks captain Richie McCaw in the loose, Brussow failed to convince new Springbok selector Heyneke Meyer that he was worth a place in the side, especially in the absence of Schalk Burger.

Keo.co.za reported that Meyer was wary of the number of penalties Brussow conceded at the breakdown and his lack of ball-carrying effect. Instead it was Stormers' flanker Marcell Coetzee who was preferred, and to good effect. It was believed that Stormers flanker Siya Kolisi was also ranked ahead of the Cheetahs star.

But Brussow was not prepared to concede the style of his game.

"Not making the squad for the England series hurt, especially since I've been there before and know what the environment is like.

"There's nothing like playing Test rugby and to miss out on that was disappointing.

"How I respond now is crucial," he told the website.

Brussow said he didn't see the problem as a negative and it was a challenge for him to get back into consideration.

"But I won't change my style of play. I'm not the ball carrier they are looking for, that's not my strength. I could bulk up but then I'll compromise my strength – my ability to get to the breakdown quickly and contest the ball," he said.

It was too late for him to change now as his approach had been the same throughout his career, he said.

Meyer's choice for the Tests had proven correct which left no room for Brussow to complain, he said.

It was up to him to become so good at what he did that the selectors couldn't ignore him.

"That means I've worked very hard on my speed, so that I get around the part quicker, which in turn would potentially give me that half second more to get to the breakdown first and turnover or slow possession.

"Speed, timing, anticipation and sharp decision-making is crucial for any opensider. If I can get those areas of my game to where I want them to, I hope it will force a rethink for the Springboks," he said.