Schalk: People’s pick as capt

2011-10-14 10:33

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – The people have spoken ... that incredible-engined loose forward Schalk Burger is their choice to assume the captaincy mantle of South Africa.

Following the respective retirements from the Springbok game of veterans John Smit and his deputy Victor Matfield after the World Cup, Sport24 posed the question on a readers’ poll: “Who should be the man to lead the Springboks going forward?”

Almost 4,500 respondents gave little short of 2,000 votes to the skipper of South Africa’s best-performing Super Rugby franchise in 2011, the Stormers: a healthy 44% share of the “market”.

Burger has earned universal praise for his consistently strong personal performances at RWC 2011, where the Boks controversially exited at the quarter-final stage to the Wallabies despite the Paarl Gym product being full of his customary energy and mongrel aggression in Wellington.

The No 7 flank – he could arguably do just as much justice to a Test No 6 or 8 jersey – may seem like a veteran of the game but he is only 28 and, if properly managed, could feasibly still represent his country at the 2015 World Cup.

Of course some critics do have some reservations about his impulsive streak at times (even if it can often work in favour of the cause Burger is fighting for) and occasional bouts of hot-headedness that provoke the card-brandishing ire of referees.

Perhaps some pundits with those reservations turned out in droves at the poll for Juan Smith, another Bok “loosie” who missed RWC 2011 because of a long-term Achilles tendon injury – the tall Free Stater was second-best choice with a still significant 29% of backing, although age counts a little more against him as he has already hit the 30 mark.

Then there is a fair drop to almost 15% of support for Bismarck du Plessis, the contentious “second choice” at hooker during the latest World Cup, even if the inspiring, in-your-face No 2 has no first-class record of any substance in a leadership capacity.

Other choices provided, like Andries Bekker, Jean de Villiers and Jaque Fourie, each got a more minor 3% at best.


  • Lionel - 2011-10-14 10:46

    Great choice,gives 100% every game and was South Africas player of the tournament at the RWC!!!!!!!Second in line would be Juan Smith!!!!

      Johan - 2011-10-14 10:57

      ...and John Mitchell or Heneke Meyer as coach...

      Lionel - 2011-10-14 11:21

      Johan,as far as I know Mitchell has ruled himself out much to my dismay as he was my first choice,Meyer is now Director of rugby so I do not know whether he will apply....... I personally think its time for a overseas coach to take over the reigns!!!!

      Johan - 2011-10-14 11:29

      ..agree Lionel... forgot, ...John said he is not available and Heyneke will not aply ... ..its a pity...

      Gillbert - 2011-10-14 12:57

      yes and he still has another world cup in him.... maybe he should be moved to 8th man in the future. depending on the form of juan smit when he returns

      Fuf - 2011-10-15 05:27

      @Lionel Totale snot en jy weet dit. Wie sal 'n beter kaptein wees as Pierre Spies.

  • mariusvrens - 2011-10-14 10:55

    Agreed!!! Great player, and he really sorted his game out since receiving more responsibility at WP... I personally don't think Juan Smith would be able to handle the english press conferences, but that doesn't make him a bad leader.

      Michael - 2011-10-14 12:08

      All I can say is TG it's not the News24 readers who make decisions like this.

      Fuf - 2011-10-15 05:13

      @Michael Totally! It's like saying the peoples choice for president is Julius Malema.

  • Joel - 2011-10-14 11:00

    Schalk by a country mile. He has the work ethic of a Teichman. He has the sense of humour & charm of a John Smit (Bryce Lawrence being the only person on the planet to be unmoved by these characteristics). He has successfully morphed or matured from crazy to calculated as a player & person and he is not afraid of taking risks on the big stage. He is also fully bi-lingual & has a great TV (international) presence.

  • marco.tomaso - 2011-10-14 11:03

    I'll pick Patrick Lambie instead who is capable of playing flyhalf,centre and fullback for the Boks.Anytime for a Michaelhouse school boy.He's got natural talent and unwavering nerve which is a credit to him.

  • Marius - 2011-10-14 11:21

    This poll was probably open to Western Cape supporters only, as he is definitely not held in high esteem as a captain anywhere else in the country. A great player,yes, but captain definitely not. He has made too many on-field tactical blunders as captain of the Stomers and WP to instill any confidence in that roll.

      Pieter - 2011-10-14 14:43

      The poll was on these pages. Don't complain if you did not take the trouble to vote! Your slip is showing - Schalk is liked and respected by all true rugby supporters country wide. Which part of the country do you live in and who is your candidate for captaincy?

  • Jacobus - 2011-10-14 12:37

    Schalk se vorige probleme met kaarte is lankal iets van die verlede. Hy doen skitterend met Stormers en WP. Kies hom.

      Johan - 2011-10-14 12:45

      ...en speel hom no 8 vir die Bokke...

      Fuf - 2011-10-15 04:36

      @Jacobus Skitterend met die WP en Stormers reken jy. Hy lei hulle na ZERO koppies in 10 jaar. Nou dis nou briljant ne

  • lubabalo.mpongoshe - 2011-10-14 13:05

    Bismark Du plessis is the man to lead the Boks !

      Fuf - 2011-10-15 05:11

      @lubabalo Thank you. Someone sees the light

  • Kosie - 2011-10-14 13:25

    sorry but no. although i think schalk is a phenominal player. if you look at the current young loosies coming through flo, brussouw, alberts, deysel, nick koster, marcel coetzee,derrick minnie, josh strauss to name a few, i don't think schalk will be in the next world cup, these guys are growing in stature and will be very dominant 4 years from now,and by then schalk will be 32 same like john smit is today(over the hill). we should build on a new team and new captain. sorry schalk

  • etafrica - 2011-10-14 14:16

    good choice, vice captain Jaques Fourie !

      Fuf - 2011-10-15 05:20

      @etafrica And AC coach??? Are u retarded?

  • Brevan - 2011-10-14 14:36

    I think Schalk will still be in the first choice loose trio by the next world cup, but he is not really captain material. He leads by example, but he is not the type of character that will speak tot he guys during the game to give them words of inspiration or comfort when a youngster makes a major blunder or to make good on-field tactical changes. He just get's into a bubble on the field and focuses on his game. Schalk will be inspirational whether he is captain or not so I think someone else would serve us better in a captaincy role. I think try a few guys over the next 2 years and then based on that select a captain who can grow in the role in the 2 years leading up to the next world cup. It will take about 2 years for the coach to get a good idea of which players he will build the next world cup squad around. One of the up and coming guys may end up being the best candidate. There are so many players that showed their quality this year that you can select a team without any of this year's world cup players and we could still beat any other team in the world.

  • Danie - 2011-10-14 14:53

    No No No !!!!!!!! Yellow Canarie- That will be a sad day for rugby.

  • Pierre - 2011-10-14 15:38

    schalk "no trophies" Burger and Alister "no trophies" Coetzee is the perfext storm for no trophies

      marco.tomaso - 2011-10-14 22:20

      @Pierre People should rather call you afval instead "perfext".What the **** is "perfext storm for no trophies" anyway you imbecile? Schalk Burger major honors 1.IRB International Player of the Year in 2004-major award that is and what have you got by comparison hey freakshow? 2. 2007 Rugby World Cup winners medal-again what have you got hey you moron? Stop bashing players that have put heart and soul into everything for the Boks by talking crap for you are an embarrassment on this forum.

      Fuf - 2011-10-15 04:47

      @ dom marco Still = zero koppies = Useless

  • omacfie - 2011-10-14 16:01

    Surely you jest.

  • jacques.ackermann - 2011-10-14 16:10

    great player on of the best but captain ???? no sure sorry to say. juan smith is my choice. one can only measure how great a player is if he is not in the team and if he plays the cheetahs are on another level. he commands respect on and off the field which one can buy nor can teach. schalk is to nice a guy to have that. to be also honest we have a whole host of loosies to choose from so i just dotn know. who ever the captain is he needs to be able to make the next RWC so i reckon that might just take out juan and schalk. the next coach will have his work cut out that is for sure. p.s. the poll was voted by a major amount of cape town readers so that shows due to the huge amount of WP players suddenly being shown as bok captains

  • Wesley - 2011-10-14 19:25

  • Ken - 2011-10-14 22:44

    Sorry, maar ek verkies Juan Smith as ons kaptein. Het julle al vergeet?????

      Fuf - 2011-10-15 04:43

      @Ken Absoluut. Dis 'n klomp eenogige, tik gestampde idiote op die blog. Schalk as kaptein???????????? Asseblief. Kies sommer die hele WP span met AC as coach, dan gaan ons vir die volgende WC moet kwalifiseer soos Japan en Namibia

  • Fuf - 2011-10-15 04:30

    Ag asseblief, ou dom Schalk. En dan wat, dan kan die Springbokke ook 11 jaar gaan sonder 'n koppie.

  • Fuf - 2011-10-15 04:57

    Then we'll sit with the thickest captain in the history of the game. Schalk and Duane are the only two people in the world that has registered a negative IQ

      Charl - 2011-10-15 19:58

      @Fuf You are very opinionated and seem to have it all worked out!!! You also get personal which from my pov is a sure sign of your intelligence. I would questioned your experience and understanding at that level of the game. SB has matured over the years and given the chance and support could turn out to be a good captain, likewise with JS. On the other hand BdP still needs to work at it, great player with great skills.

  • Russell - 2011-10-15 07:56

    Juan Smith will do the trick for sure.

  • Erina - 2011-10-16 18:14

    You can have the best capt in the world....if the rev is blind ---he is blind......

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