Why the refusal of AB to get involved - whatever the media may write I am afraid the real reasons are that -
* AB realizes that the team selection for the team is real BS and him being in that team will ruin his reputation;
* that repeated losses has thoroughly demoralized the good players and their seems to be no fighting spirit left in them; and
* that both Boucher and Smith is totally clueless as to what should be done to overcome the problems by laying a proper basis for squad development over the next three years.
Rugby left in chaos by Meyer and nearly destroyed by Coetzee was in the same position as cricket was and within 18 months Erasmus came in demanding a say in coaching appointments and took the team from their 7 ranking to number 1 in the world within 18 months time, However - neither Smith nor Boucher (despite being top players) or both together - have any idea of what should be done to restore the team to proper functioning,
Bringing in new players over 30 years of age is futile and does not help - new players must be selected on merit, Merit selection is definitely not the case here. Selecting captains by default should be out, Merit selection is out - players do not be part of a squad destined to lose. Repeated selection of failed players should never be considered and no players in the team should OWN their positions in the team, If players fail repeatedly they should be shown the door.
Erasmus did the right thing - he gave a host of players a chance to play - those who failed was discarded by the time the WC squad for 2019 selected, SA selections are basically bedeviled by quota selection, Erasmus was faced with the same problem - but he realized that the Springboks were in crisis - what should happen was to ensure that in the first instance the lost ground should first be recovered - he did not meet quota requirements - but nobody said a word about it, Once the team is sound there will be scope for bringing in players of color on a gradual basis,
Instead of doing what Erasmus did - Smith and Boucher followed the nasty path of selection based on experience with total disregard to actual performances, At one stage all the "young" players they brought in were all older than 29 years with total disregard for performance,
So what is to be done as to the demoralized team, Erasmus found the same situation and start with building confidence from the bottom up and not the other way around, Players were encouraged to make proposals and those were not treated with disdain and debated by the players themselves and encouraged by management - developing a basis for functioning of the team, The players realized what was good or them and became totally loyal to the coaching staff and the team. The Springboks would walk through a wall for Erasmus and would not want to embarrass him - the Protea players would not walk the length of the pitch for Smith and Boucher.
The total picture is that players are demoralized and have no real faith and loyalty to the team.. Who of them will feel proud to be associated with that mess anyway?