Hougi should be Bok 9 – De Kock

Former Springbok scrumhalf and Saracens mainstay, Neil de Kock says Worcester No 9 Francois Hougaard is at the peak of his powers and should be starting for South Africa.

“I think Francois Hougaard is a world-class player, provided he gets an extended run in one position,” said De Kock. “I’d like to see him settle at No 9, because he’s in the prime of his career.”

Evaluating World Rugby’s move to reform the eligibility regulations, extending the residency period from three to five years, Tank Lanning said: “I’m massively in favour of what Augustin Pichot and Bill Beaumont have done with the change to World Rugby’s eligibility rules. I think you should play for the country of your birth, the fact that people are chopping and changing, I don’t like.”

On Craig Ray’s column suggesting SA Rugby extricates itself from competitions involving New Zealand, Tank said, “I’m not sure divorcing ourselves from the Kiwis is the way forward. If you want to run with the big dogs, you need to piss in the long grass. I think running away with it is not the way forward – let’s rather look to improve our coaching structures and try and catch up.”

“That means almost 90 percent of ball carries end in a collision of sorts,” said Zelím Nel, highlighting the need for South Africa to select players capable of controlling those contact situations. “That’s the crux of it. If 90 percent of carries end in contact, and you’ve got smaller guys who can only lose that engagement – because of sheer physics – then you have to consider that.”

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- All Out Rugby Staff Writer

Let's chat

  • Demè Lucas

    I agree I think Hougie is the best candidate for no 9 Springboks jersey with Ross Cronje as utility back up

    • Greg

      cronje is pedestrian! no x factor, has a loopy pass…..

    • Andre



      • Greg

        personally I think Reinach is overshadowed by Claasen. He’s agreeably more nippy, faster and asks more questions of the loosies than Cronje but he takes far too much time to clear from rucks and scrums and spends too much time directing his forwards. For me Claasen deserves a look in.

        • Max

          Claasen too slow. Schreider is playing good play

          • Greg

            never heard of schreider…..

  • Max

    Ross Cronje needs to play. He is a smart player and plays the situation, something we needs to get in our game plan and Page. We need them because of their basic and quality play. These guys know what the number on their jersey is

  • Mike Norman

    South Africa has a long history of screwing with consistency in selection and position….as well as messing with the talents of position specific players. (Francois Steyn from fly-half to full back to centre….Francois Hougaard from scrum half to wing….then back again….Patrick Lambie from fly half to full back…Willie Le Roux from full back to wing….and so on…and on!) How could any one of these extremely talented players EVER settle into their position….in the same way as a Ben Smith or a Perenara….or a Bouden Barritt has done…you don’t see New Zealands respective clubs or the All Blacks moving people out of position like that. Settled 8th man, scrum half, fly half and full back are the cornerstones of a successful team.

    • Louis

      I agree with you 100%!!! Plus Pieter-Steph du Toit should never play flank again! He’s the best lock! Let him play lock!

  • FC

    Hougaard only plays very well or very bad. Hoping that he will have all is good games for the boks is dreaming.
    Ross is most consistent no9 currently

  • Louis

    I’ve been saying this for years!! They messed him up playing him on wing! He could have been the best 9 in the world by now if they just let him play 9!

  • Liezl Nel

    Lankal Boet! Laaankal! I fully agree, he is the best we have! He has been a pleasure to watch for years! But why did it take this long to give him his deserved place. I’m a girl and have noticed his talent ages ago? Maybe you need more girly talent spotters?Let him start at 9 and keep him there so that the team can settle with a key player like this! @FrancoisHougi rocks!

  • Mike Norman

    I think at the moment…Alistair Coetzee is clutching at straws….there’s talk he wants to pull Bismark back….Duane Vemeulen and Francois Louw as well…he’s even talking up Habana and JP!!! Seriously!!!? Malcolm Marks is the way forward at Hooker….I’d pick Kriel, Du Preez and Kolisi before Vermuelen and Louw and I’d pick Sonatla and Mvovo before Habana and JP on any given day now. This is why we are getting worse….we need consistent selection …from locally based, position specific, form players. Lets hope Brenden Venter brings some sanity to the Bok coaching!!!

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