Who to start in Rugby Championship?

The Springboks only have four matches to play before they face the All Blacks in Yokohama City. The AOR team debates which position needs the most attention during the Rugby Championship to confirm SA’s best matchday 23 for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Zelim Nel – SCRUMHALF
Faf de Klerk started 10 of 13 Tests for South Africa in 2018, with Ivan van Zyl and Embrose Papier renting the No 9 jersey when the Sale Sharks halfback was released for English Premiership duty.

Having established himself as the clear-cut starter during Rassie Erasmus’ first season at the helm, De Klerk will head into the World Cup with the confidence gained from this year sustaining the form that led to his nomination for the World Player of the Year award in 2018.

The Boks are still coming to grips with the nuances of a defensive system predicated on full-throttle linespeed, and De Klerk’s aptitude for blitzing his opposite number at the breakdown, and making clutch one-on-one tackles, means his role in the run-on side indispensable.

The Boks went 1-2 when Van Zyl or Papier started in November last year and it’s safe to say that an injury to De Klerk would cast a long shadow of doubt over South Africa’s hopes of winning the World Cup.

But he played 1,688 minutes of rugby in 23 consecutive starts for Sale this season, and that’s why it’s imperative that Cobus Reinach logs plenty of playing minutes during the Rugby Championship.

At this point of their careers, neither Van Zyl nor Papier can hold a candle to the Northampton Saints scrum-feeder. Not only is Reinach a world-class option, he is also very much a like-for-like replacement for De Klerk.

Both players were shortlisted for the English Premiership Player of the Season, and Reinach walked away from the Saints’ prizegiving with Players’ Player of the Season and Supporters’ Player of the Season.

Reinach hasn’t featured for the Boks since 2015 and recalling him to start during the Rugby Championship would serve the dual purpose of getting him back up to Test speed while limiting the risk of De Klerk being fitted for a moon boot before the World Cup.

Tank Lanning – TIGHTHEAD PROP
Zels has indeed identified a problem position for Rassie Erasmus, and in recent times, this very column has explored the world of pain that would be inflicted by injuries to Duane Vermeulen or Handre Pollard.

In my book, the call to ditch Wilco Louw is beyond strange, and not taking a gander at Carlu Sadie after an impressive season for the Lions raises the question: who is going to stuff themselves into the No 3 jersey?

Erasmus will likely only take five props in his 31-man squad, hence the obsession with developing so called ‘swing props’ like Trevor Nyakane and Thomas du Toit who can play on both sides of the scrum. Stuffing up careers so that we have a Player 31 for the World Cup every 4 years makes me grumpy, but that is a topic for another day!

Frans Malherbe and Vincent Koch are the only true tightheads in the squad, so they will go to Japan. After an iffy season, Malherbe can consider himself lucky, but in this seasoned veteran – by all accounts a great team man
– Erasmus has a banker. He might not dominate, but will use his experience to find a way not to be dominated.

Koch is a fantastic selection after an impressive stint with Sarries, where he has honed his craft. He needs to prove that he has ironed out a kink in his game that saw him mixing mostly champagne scrumming with a little shizer, and that’s why I would start Koch in the first two Rugby Champs matches.

Nyakane and Du Toit will then need game time to prove they have what it takes to play tighthead at international level. We know they can play loosehead, because that’s how they earned their professional contracts. So I would give each of them a start and a game on the bench covering only tighthead.

You’ve read what they think, now let us know which way you’re leaning, or join the #BigDebate on Twitter!

- Big Debate

Let's chat

  • Johan

    Faf has proven himself as one of the best in the world and Cobus is also world class, having had an excellent season with the Northampton Saints.

    I’m not worried about scrumhalf.

    Frans Malherbe and Vincent Koch have both been playing springbok games for a while, and while not the best in my book, I can understand why Rassie went with experience instead of someone like Sadie.

    I’m not worried about tighthead.

    I am worried about the centers, we have had no real standouts in these positions.
    De Allende is having a better year (I have actually seen him pass the ball !!) but he is nowhere near world class
    Kriel also has had moments of brilliance, but he isn’t constantly having a match winning impact in games

    I would like to see Steyn play as many games as possible, he has X-factor and size (so he’ll keep both domkrag and running people happy) and I believe he can be a world class talent. He can also shift to flyhalf/fullback if needed..

    • Dean Bright

      Agreed, Kriel and De Allende as a combination lacks all the grey matter. One is a show pony and the other a plank. Hop, skip and nothing between the ears. Esterhuizen is another plonker. Best combo would be Steyn and Am together. You cover all your bases there, kicking, passing, vision and competing at the breakdown on the outside. These guys also know how to create space for other players. Serfontein is the next best center, especially since he’s adept at playing 12 and 13. 4th center I’d pick Mapoe. He’s got pace and an eye for the gap. Seen him find himself in space many times in his career. He could combine well with a good defender/organiser like Serfontein.

    • John Comyn

      Just had to pick out De Allende didn’t you. We just can’t get past commenting on this board without mentioning De Allende ne? Even if he has nothing to do with the subject.

      • Herman

        Admit it John, DDA is plumb useless not that he is the only one. In fact he is in good company in the Bok team. He wouldn’t make my Sunday morning pub team But being a Stormer his bags are already packed for Japan. Go figure. Cheers.

      • Johan

        “The AOR team debates which position needs the most attention during the Rugby Championship ”

        As I said, I’m worried about the position center…

        Who should I have mentioned?

        • Piet

          Agree – a few years ago we had so many centers and flanks that we didn’t know what to do with them – now we have no centers and very little flanks. What has happened to our rugby!

          • Johan

            Agree on the flanks as well… We have few who are as effective as Pocock/Savea.
            I would like to see Kwagga given a run, he is good at the breakdown, a workhorse and amazing on attack. I like PSdT, but as a lock, he is an amazing tackler and works his ass off, but IMHO he is too slow to be a flanker.

            I think a combo of Duane, Kwagga, Kolisi (when fit)
            Then in the locks I would use PSdT and Eben, with RG on the bench (maybe even starting, Eben hasn’t had a great year)

  • Nick

    As the writers above have intimated, giving game time to players like Reinach and Koch will be crucial.
    9 touches the ball more than any other player in the team, so is arguably the most important player on the pitch.
    Obviously the two 9’s who backed Faf over the last two years have simply not shaped. A selection failure really. neither of them can hold a place at the Bulls, and Warner has been easily the best 9 at that franchise. Maybe they will shape in the future. who knows. Right now they have been chucked overboard.
    Reinach fortunately is an experienced player, and Jaintjies is a talented player. Fans will go ‘crazy’ [to use a Jake White term] when Faf is substituted in the Championship, but this will need to take place.

    Trev has been by far the more consistent out of the swinger options. His low centre of gravity can also add value when he comes onto the pitch against the right sort of opponent. I have just seen TDT get properly stuffed too many times on the tighthead to have any faith in him in that particular role, despite his size and effort.

    • Herman

      Nick. Out of left field here. How about Sean Venter of the Cheetahs ? The boy has all the attributes required however his penchant for expansive rugby will probably count against him. As for Herschel, it’s way too early for him especially for the WC imo. He still battled a bit in SR despite the occasional flashes around the park. Needs another SR campaign to see if he has the right stuff. Mind you in the Bok set up there aren’t many with the right stuff so he may fit in well, lol. Cheers.

    • Tank Lanning Tank Lanning

      Agreed, Nick. Irony is that TdT is a far better loosehead than Beast and Lizo, and given SK’s current form, even giving him a push. He is an extraordinarily good loosehead who adds massively round the park, yet will not be in Japan …

  • Nick

    Agree with Johann that Sadie is GOING to be great, but still a kid. 3 is one position that you can seldom to never pick a lightie.

  • Barry

    I’m not sure that it matters too much which of the two scrum halves start, provided they are both there. They are both world class! The issue is surely who gets the third slot. Papier was given very limited game time at the Bulls, but his stats are still ahead of Jantjies, who has no international experience and though shows potential is still very green. We forget that there is still that burning need for Erasmus to present a transformed team, so should we not be asking why Erasmus has opted for Jantjies as potentially the third choice for WC rather than Papier – it seems a more pertinent debate!

    I often wonder if, as a rugby nation, we have entirely lost the plot? Malherbe was abjectly poor this season, the question should rather be why in the heck is he there in the first instance? Why are we not selecting form players? Given the fact that he is there, we then conclude, well we may as well start with him then?? Isn’t there a fundamental flaw in that plan?

    Anyone of Sadie, Nyakabe or Oosthuizen are more deserving of that berth than Malherbe. Quite simply they did their talking on the field – this year, not two seasons ago! Vincent was adequate last time out for the Boks, let’s see if he’s grown – if memory serves, he is not a “true tight head” as suggested but rather a retread the same as the others in the SA camp!

    Surely the success of any team is to first get the selections right, then worry about who gets to start. Once again, we have selected players on reputation rather than current form and in doing so, we stumble at the first block!

    • John Comyn

      One minute you are talking about picking players on form and the next you are finding reasons why the form player should not be picked. On form only, Jantjies was the standout SA scrumhalf in SR and, based on that, he has been given a chance to attend a training camp. Barry you are jumping the gun. Rassie has not picked anyone yet and the 1st training camp excluded Sharks and Bulls players. So why would you say we have once again selected players on reputation?

      • Barry

        John, perhaps re-read my post slowly. I said that Papier’s stats are slightly better than Jantjies, not the other way around, this when you adjusted like for like minutes played. The point I make is that we should be discussing which of these two makes the cut rather than the two Vets offered by Zelim for discussion. We need a player of colour and these seem to be our two options. Surely clear enough?

        John, the squad was expanded on Monday to include the returning Bulls and Sharks players. There were a number of exclusions, such as Papier! The whole purpose of getting the group together is to have a look at options and from this group will come the narrowed squad for the Four nations and then a few weeks for the WC. Those excluded now have little or no chance!

        • Redge

          Ag shame here we go again with Mr Stats and the anti-WP BS. You cannot always select on current form and definitely not on stats. Papier is a muppet and so is van Zyl. Jantjies is the future. It’s not like he will start against the AB’s at the WC. Did the AB’s select Lam in 2018 after his brilliant season? Everyone is negative again, trademark of Bok so-called supporters. I would’ve liked to see Bosch in the mix for a bit of x-factor even though his STATS might not be acceptable. But then I am not the coach and surely Rassie and them have their reasons for picking certain guys, like D de Allende for instance.

          There is no reason why we cannot win the WC.

    • Vossie

      Couldn’t agree more Barry, for some reason they keep on going with Malherbe, hes been average at best for the past 3 seasons. What influence does Proudfoot have with these selections? We all know he is massive Malherbe and Kitshoff fans. Unfortunately with Proudfoot in charge of the forwards we will always have favoritism going on when it comes to selection.

  • Herman

    Put all the props names in a hat and make a lucky draw. Sadie aside none of the props really dominated their opponents this year even against the weaker sides. What they will do against the world’s best is anyone’s guess.

    However propping a scrum is only one facet of their job, what about the lineout support play, skills in open play, tackling and most important of all a do or die tough mental approach that makes the difference. The latter is where I think most of our props fail and even the writer admits that most of them disappointed in SR.

    So form does not appear to be a factor for Rassie. We had them failing last year, not showing form this year and yet the WC express rolls on. Too late for a solution now, but we will be going for the trifecta of sport this year. The Afcon clowns already down and out, our ODI ‘chumps’ didn’t even get a chance to choke this year and our Boks poised to take on the world later this year. I know who my money is on. Cheers.

    • John Comyn

      Herman sometimes I wonder if you ever watch a game outside of a Lions game. I certainly can’t remember a SA T5 being dominated in this year’s SR. Every front row have their moments as well as their disappointments. Injuries that necessitate inexperienced players being brought in is where they are most venerable. Eg. A T5 with Malherbe, Bongi, Kitscoff, Etzebeth and Schickerling will hold their own against any club/provincial side in the world. To pick out Sadie as the only decent prop in SA is ridiculous and shows a serious lack knowledge of the very basics professional rugby.

      • Herman

        To the best of my knowledge those players have been part of the Stormers horribly failed SR campaigns these past few years and for you to cherry pick your T5 as the ultimate combination to ‘hold it’s own’ in SR etc is a bit disingenuous my friend. Malherbe is an overweight liability who offers nothing in general play and barely does his core responsibility. Wild eyed Etzebeth is overrated and way past his best. Even the lighties face him down these days. While he’s doing the choke tango the smarter players are getting on with the game. The rest of the world out muscle us these days if you haven’t noticed we need to get smarter.

        But my biggest concern is the mental strength of these supposedly ‘experienced’ players. Being hammered in half of their tests last year and playing in SR where they get klapped more often than not can’t do much for their psyche. Add to that being coached by Fleck who clearly is out of his depth then you have a combination of factors that can only affect the player’s resolve. Also known as punch drunk.

        Do yourself a favour and watch this week’s Breakdown show on Sky. An hour and a half of the AB selectors announcing their 39 man squad for the RC and the subsequent Q and A sessions. Absolute honesty and accountability. It’s an unbelievable eye opener compared it to our lot who normally announce and run. Be interested to hear your comments. Cheers.

        • Redge

          Herman you are talking K..k mate and it seems like you don’t even realise it. Etsebeth is a world class lock. Would you prefer him with smaller eyes, idiot!

      • Danie Theron

        John, why not choose ALL the Stormers players. Do not participate in the discussion if you cannot put aside provincialism.

        • Redge

          Look whose talking,lol!

    • Barry

      Hermie, I assume you include Jantjies in your list of out of form players and thus agree that his selection has a big question mark. I see even the Lions don’t want him now.

      He ended last season as the competitions worst tackler but had progressed this year to second last. Perhaps he’s being rewarded for that progress. Lol

      • Herman

        I’ve already answered you on that Barry, I wouldn’t pick him on current form and in any case Rassie’s game plan is meant for the dom krag brigade which constitutes 90% of his squad, hence the crappy results last year. He probably want’s no part of it. Smart chap.

        As for the tackling stat, I and others have answered you on that as well. The Bosch’s and DDA’s of this world duck and dive tackles he goes for it notwithstanding his size. Stats obviously don’t reflect this but hey when another flyhalf in this country can take his team to three SR finals then we can talk again.

        Even our King of the Dom Krag flyhalves ( Polly ) couldn’t get his team past the QF’s at their first attempt after SIX years in the doldrums. Give me Jantjies any day with a smart coach. Cheers.

    • Johan

      Well the Proteas made the same mistake, picking on reputation instead of form, and all the injuries came back to bite them HARD.

      The old saying, “Form is temporary, class is permanent” REALLY isn’t working out for us…
      Let’s hope Rassie learns from this.

      Bafana Bafana managed to rise from the dead, like a zombie and managed to get through the group stages!! However I can’t see them beating the hosts, even with me cheering them on from my couch…

      • Herman

        Gee John you have a high tolerance for incompetence. Bafana were shocking. Three played two lost, one won and that was against world beaters Namibia, Then to score only one goal in 270 minutes of ‘soccer’. Wow, I’ve seen zombies play better. But good luck and enjoy the match old chap, hope springs eternal. Cheers.

  • Nick

    Lol…What do I know! I thought Malherbe played some good rugby this year! I would also describe him as a ‘proper’ tighthead. Koch has been key in Saracens success this year, and Trev has practically scrummed everybody he’s come across this year.
    Tank is right here.

    Barry, Hermie. Points taken and respected, but who would your 3 be? Hermie’s points on general play are valid and important to consider. Prop’s don’t just scrum, but you really pick your 3 based on scrumming ability.

    Coenie is an amusing player to watch. More facial expression than anything else. Got properly man handled by the Irish Centre last year. A few minutes into the game and he was smashed off the field and into hospital. Paving the way to an irish physical dominance up front that we could not live with. Not great on a Tightheads’ CV! Also can’t scrum for toffie. Nice one Rassie. Leave him at home.

    Louw just seems to lack energy and has minimal effect on the games he’s played in this year. He may still come into the picture.

    • Barry

      Nick, a bit sad that you fondly remember a player getting seriously injured!

      My point is that you need to first get the form players into the camp and make a call from there. At the moment we don’t have the form players in camp!

      Sanzaar stats on scrum success for the competition after 16 rounds gives a good idea of the pecking order of the SA franchises, listed below. On the question of value added, the stats on runs made and tackles complete will give some idea of who did what and who by contrast was in passenger mode. Sadie also managed a staggering 11 tackle breaks!

      Scruming SR 2019
      Lions 7th – joint
      Sharks 7th – joint
      Bulls 10th
      Stormers 12th

      Runs made
      Co. Oosthuizen(SHA) 62
      C. Sadie(LIO) 61
      T. Nyakane(BUL) 55
      T. du Toit(SHA) 53
      F. Malherbe(STO) 35
      W. Louw(STO) 30

      Tackles completed
      Co. Oosthuizen(SHA) 122
      T. Nyakane(BUL) 112
      C. Sadie(LIO) 105
      F. Malherbe(STO) 85
      T. du Toit(SHA) 79
      W. Louw(STO) 71

      If you look at yesterdays announcement by New Zealand of the four uncapped players in this years squad – they are all chaps that have performed out of their socks and are given just reward for doing so. Take for example Sevu Reece – a small guy of 84Kgs, but pocket rocket if ever. Interestingly enough, he has a fairly average missed tackled count of 24, but NZ see the benefit of his flair and attacking game. When we consider our own pocket rocket Bosch, we eliminate him because we missed 15 tackles, 9 less than Reece and McKenzie and rather opted for Jantjies who missed 41!!

      In good old SA, the players that have played out of their socks are considering the Currie Cup or perhaps which overseas offer to accept! New Zealand have a positive management style that encourages performance and rewards players for outstanding performance. This is not only a reward for the players but an investment in the future for New Zealand rugby – they’re thinking about tomorrow and next year and it creates competition within the squad!

      • Herman

        Barry a good read old chap. Coenie’s running metres must have included his running onto the field at the start of the match to get to those impressive numbers. But like many others he is a spent force. I still believe you place too much emphasis on stats though but hey we all have our ways of expressing our opinions.

        Yes that Breakdown show was a real eyeopener. Did you watch the entire hour and a half ? Absolute transparency compared to our duck and dive efforts when squads are announced. I still don’t buy your Bosch angle though. The wing position can’t be compared to the flyhalf position which asks far more questions of a player. McKenzie by comparison is the ultimate game changer and his skills with ball in hand is far superior to Bosch because he was brought up in an expansive environment from birth. Bosch has unfortunately been stuck in the Sharks / RDP / Boks time warp.

        I actually called for him to go to the Lions a year or two back but to no avail. He would have been a far more accomplished player by now.

        As for form and mental fortitude, well if Rassie is serious about those ( which he unfortunately is not ) then Kwagga should be high on his must have list. I know he’s in the squad but he isn’t a Stormer or a Bull and he is also a whiter shade of pale, so he may as well join the overseas brigade. I’m surprised Ackers hasn’t picked him up yet. Cheers.

      • Tank Lanning Tank Lanning

        Some nice numbers there, Barry. Shot. Coenie is indeed very good round the park, if a little lesseffective this year than in the past. But a tighthead’s primary role is to anchor the scrum, and Coenie has folded in too many key scrums to be a real Bok contender. Pre his neck injury, as a looshead – where it’s easier to break from the scrum and partake in the loose, he was absolute gold!!

        • Chris Mouton

          Tank, may I just add that I think you are a real pro. It really is refreshing to have discussions on this forum with one of the writers. You’ve been around the block and have a lot more knowledge/experience that us armchair critics. What can I say? We love the game and we love South African Rugby. In fact, I’m gonna attend South Africa vs Namibia in the World Cup later on. SA vs NZ was crazy expensive. Still, it’ll be fun watching my countrymen against the Bokke. Keep up the good work.

        • Barry

          Thanks Tank, your area of expertise!

          Worthy noting though that Coennie had two appies in the front row with him for most of the season. They did well under the circumstances!

          Is Sadie naturally that good or has he been bolstered by Redelinghuys’ tutelage?

  • Chris Mouton

    I’m not sure why the article talks about either/or? I would plug in the import players everywhere I can to see how they do internationally. Regarding tightheads, Nayakane had a good season and definitely has the inside lane regarding swing props. Sadie was a revelation and should’ve been at the camp. I don’t like Malherbe at all. He’s fat, immobile and doesn’t bring much to the general game. Koch would be my starter for the World Cup. For the Rugby Championship I’d play the swing props at tighthead to test them out and have Koch on the bench.

    For the Rugby Championship Reinach should start the 1st two games and have Faf on the bench. Then start Faf and have Herscelle Jantjies on the bench. This will give us more than enough time to see who can do what.

    I’m more concerned about our 8th men and inside centres. It’s a pity that Dan du Preez got injured, because Flou Louw is too slow. I’d pick Coetzee at starting 8 for the 1st 2 games with Vermeulen on the bench. De Allende and Esterhuizen didn’t really set the field on fire when they played. Then again, both of them have terrible backline/attacking coaches. Esterhuizen had better defense, so I’d play him the 1st two games with Steyn on the bench.

    My starting squad against the Aussies that would answer a lot of questions would be:

    1. Gqoboka
    2. Brits
    3. T du Toit (Nayakane played there enough during the Bulls’ campaign)
    4. de Jager
    5. Snyman
    6. Smith
    7. PS du Toit
    8. Coetzee
    9. Reinach
    10. Pollard (Still pissed that Bosch wasn’t picked)
    11. Mapimpi
    12. Esterhuizen
    13. Am
    14. Leyds
    15. Le Roux

    16. Kitshoff
    17. Marx
    18. Koch
    19. Mostert
    20. Elstadt
    21. de Klerk
    22. Steyn
    23. Kolbe

    • Tank Lanning Tank Lanning

      Worth a test, and test we must in the RC, but that front row looks more fragile than my granny’s crystal rabbit sitting on the mantle piece …

      • Chris Mouton

        Hahaha! True, but we need answers. That’s why I picked a strong bench. There are question marks around these players, so I tried mixing in the solids with the questions.

    • Danie Theron

      Kwagga is certainly not Springbok standard, but if necessary, play him in the minnow games. Where’s Vermeulen, Etsebeth and Kriel? Do you really believe Rassie will start without them?!

      • Deon

        What is Springbok standard?

      • Chris Mouton

        Danie, I suggest you read my post before you write. The team I chose have a few players in with question marks behind their names. We know what we can get from Vermeulen, Etsebeth and Kriel. The aim of this RC is not to win, but rather to find the right combinations with the overseas players included.

      • Johan

        Kwagga scored 7 tries, most of any flanker,
        11 line breaks, most of any flanker, best line break average per game of ANY forward,
        24 tackle bursts, 3rd in SR for Openside flankers, but played 5 games less than Savea who is 1st
        3rd for “pilfers” (Savea 1st, Vermeulen 2nd)

        What more do you want?

        • Herman

          Thanks for pointing that out to Danie, Johan. I’m sure Danie still believes loose forwards must have more brawn than brains like in the old days. Rassie does as well apparently because believe me Kwagga may be in the squad but he won’t be in the final one. But watch Notshe get the nod. Cheers.

  • Nick

    As well as misreading/understanding my comment about Oosthuizen Barry, You have also neglected to say what players SHOULD be selected other than the ones invited to camp. All you’ve done is spit out a few decontextualized stats.

    So help Rassie and the selecters here who have, according to you, got the whole thing terribly wrong. Simple question, whom should they have selected?

    • Barry

      No Nick I think I read your post correctly- “can’t scrum for toffee” – “nice one Rassie leave him at home”. Seems pretty straight forward.

      I think the issue Nick is that Malherbe’s stats just don’t stack up and I can understand that must be an issue for you because you thought he played well! Even the Province supporters are asking questions!

      Province had the worst scrum in SR 2019 amongst SA sides, it’s not my opinion, it’s statistically a fact – but they’re providing the majority of the forwards – most would be able to connect those dots and appreciate the concern!!

      The question was asked, what about the other facets of the game – how did our three’s perform. Well Nick, carries and tackles are a good measure – if you have some better ones, then let’s have them? The issue with these stats are that they confirm that Malherbe and Louw have been out of sorts and that Oosthuizen, Sadie and Nyakabe have been solid!

      I thought it was pretty obvious what I thought our selectors should have done, select FORM PLAYERS! Viz. Nick: Nyakane, Sadie, Oosthuizen, Koch and at a stretch Thom Du Toit. Malherbe does not deserve consideration.

      Hope this helps

      Barry

  • Nick

    Your comment;
    ‘Nick, a bit sad that you fondly remember a player getting seriously injured!’
    Is the pitifully spiteful one I was referring too Barry. The comments on his lack of ability to scrum and that he should stay home I stand by .
    Can I suggest you read a little more carefully? Maybe go over the posts at least twice? You seem to struggle with basic reading comprehension.

    Thank you for naming your alternative choices. I am glad I have been able to help you structure your thoughts/comments in a more logical manner. Hopefully you are capable of maintaining this personal growth.

    Glad to help Bazza!

    • Barry

      There there Nick, you’ll recover – we’ve all made asses of ourselves at some stage. Lesson learnt Nick is to do your homework before you try and elevate a player that doesn’t deserve the credit.

      Wallowing in a players injury remain un-cool!

  • Nick

    Well done Bazza!
    You just about named 3 tightheads before you let your oral sphincter muscle relax and then went complete gobs..te as usual and spluttered out a plethora of other players! Look, at least they were all tightheads…….If you’re going to push it and list Coenas and big Tom as actual T/H’s. You show real potential, but as you may be able see you need a loooot of work. All in good time!

    Just imagine how hard it is for the Bok coaches when they have to stay within the confines of 33 players.

    • Herman

      Lucky draw is Rassie’s simplest option, most of them much of a muchness. Remember the ratio though, 50 / 50. Can’t wait to see how he is going to comply with the ‘colour by numbers’ issue. His moment of truth considering his pre appointment promises. Good luck to him. Cheers.

  • Dean Bright

    Play your backup 9 and 10 together. How is Rassie going to get the best out of Elton I wonder. He didn’t have any memorable performances last year. I completely agree with Tank that du Toit and Nyakane are best suited to loosehead. Swinger props are a bad idea, I can’t think of any other international team that does this successfully.

    • Herman

      Shouldn’t get there on current form imo but hey Rassie doesn’t go on form anyway. Also don’t forget the numbers game Rassie must play. Cheers.

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