Life after Goosen - Theron
Johan Goosen (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - SA Under-20 coach Dawie Theron is confident they can win the IRB Junior World Championships without star flyhalf Johan Goosen.
Goosen, 19, has been ruled out for four months after he injured his shoulder while scoring a try during the Cheetahs' 33-36 Super Rugby loss to the Highlanders in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Last week Goosen was included in Theron's squad for the Junior World Cup here and in Stellenbosch in June. His absence should be a body blow to the Baby Boks, but Theron is looking at the positives, pointing to the fact that the All Blacks last year won the World Cup without Dan Carter.
"When Dan Carter got injured many people said it was the end of the All Blacks' chances. They won the tournament. So I'm sure we can do it with this group of players," Theron told Die Burger
With Goosen now out, Tony Jantjies (younger brother of Springok flyhalf Elton) will play as the No 1 pivot. "Tony was at all our training camps and played against Argentina (a recent series which the Baby Boks won 2-0). I would have given him a lot of game time in any case."
And should Jantjies get injured, Theron believes there's enough depth to cover his flyhalf bases.
"There is a lot of depth in our group.
"Marais Schmidt was picked as fullback, but has played flyhalf for the Golden Lions in the Vodacom Cup.
"Paul Jordaan (the Blitzbok who has played Super Rugby for the Sharks this year) is also a versatile player. He scored the winning try against the England U-18's two years ago when Johan left the field with a yellow card.
"Then there's a guy like Fred Zeilinga, who has played flyhalf for the Sharks the whole Vodacom Cup season. There are thus options," said Theron.
While Goosen's injury will be a big blow to the Baby Boks, it might also be for the senior Springbok team ahead of their upcoming series against England in June as Goosen, who is the leading points scorer in Super Rugby this year with 145, was surely also in Bok coach Heyneke Meyer