Currie Cup

Currie Cup final last chance to impress Bok coach

2017-10-27 11:00
Ruan Botha (Gallo Images)

Durban - Winning the Currie Cup will be the priority for a number of youngsters involved in Saturday's showdown between the Sharks and Western Province in Durban, but there is also the added incentive of putting in one last big performance to stake a claim for Springbok selection. 

The Bok squad for the end-of-year tour to Europe will be announced on Sunday, and there are a few players involved in Saturday's final who are surely on the fringes of selection. 

Curwin Bosch, Robert du Preez, Ruan Botha, Franco Marais, Dan du Preez, Nizaam Carr, Lukhanyo Am, Louis Schreuder ... all of those players have had impressive Currie Cup seasons and have, at some stage this year, been mentioned in the Springbok conversation. 

Sharks coach Robert du Preez, when asked about the possibility of potential Bok selection being a distraction on Saturday, replied: "Hasn't the Springbok squad been chosen already?"

He may very well be right. 

Bok coach Allister Coetzee already held a Springbok camp this week for players that were available and he may have already settled on his final touring party. 

But there is no doubt that a big performance in a Currie Cup final can go a long way towards being noticed and, ultimately, bashing the Bok door down. 

"I’m sure for the guys on the fringes (of Bok selection), there is definitely something there," Du Preez added.

"But that makes it an interesting game and it’s all to play for. Hopefully that will motivate both teams."

For Sharks captain Botha, the competition for Bok places is tough. 

With Lood de Jager, Franco Mostert and Pieter-Steph du Toit all big options at No 5 lock, Botha is very much on the outside, looking in. 

But his form this Currie Cup has been superb, and he has played himself into the Bok mix through consistency of performance. 

"I’m just taking everything as it comes," he said on Thursday.

"I’m not focusing on anything else. I’m focused on the team this week.

"It all comes down to this week and the final ... there is nothing outside that I’m focusing on. I’m not thinking of the Springboks or anything now."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 16:00.

Sport24's @LloydBurnard is in Durban covering the Currie Cup final...

Teams:

Sharks

15 Garth April, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Odwa Ndungane, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit

Substitutes: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Tristan Blewett, 23 Rhyno Smith

Western Province

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.

Substitutes: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Kobus van Dyk, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Werner Kok, 23 Dan Kriel

Read more on:    sharks  |  western province  |  currie cup  |  ruan botha  |  durban  |  rugby
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