Vodacom Super 14

Basson takes high road to Boks

2010-05-06 22:48
Bjorn Basson (Gallo Images)
Jóhann Thormählen

Bloemfontein – Bjorn Basson is one of the few masters under the high kicks in South Africa and has overnight become a big attacking weapon for the Cheetahs in this year’s Super 14.

Basson was a standout performer on the wing in the victory over the Blues and should be a potent force against the Western Force again on Saturday.

He may also catch the eye of Springbok coach Peter de Villiers if he keeps up his good form.

With injuries to Akona Ndungane (broken leg), Lionel Mapoe (shoulder), JP Pietersen (knee) and Jongi Nokwe (torn cartilage), De Villiers has few wing options.

The Springboks play Wales in less than a month and De Villiers has already indicated that he will not pick from teams involved in the Super 14 final.

A likely final between the Bulls and Stormers will take players such as Bryan Habana, Gio Aplon, Gerhard van den Heever and Francois Hougaard out of the reckoning.

Furthermore, the Tests against Italy will serve as Springbok trials. The 23-year-old Basson is used successfully by the Cheetahs from kick-offs and even got the better of a few All Blacks in the game against the Blues.

According to Basson, who also plays fullback, he has the best chance of making the Bok team as a wing.

He was also in the Emerging Springboks’ squad that played against the British and Irish Lions last year and in 2008 he was part of their Nations Cup campaign.

While he’s only 1.85m tall, Basson is quite capable in the air.

“I win the ball in the air 80% of the time. That is why we try to create a one-on-one situation as often as possible so that I can compete for the ball.”

The wing played basketball at Dale College and volleyball with his brothers. He believes this has honed his skills to field high kicks.

“I’d rather chase high kicks than grubbers. I believe I have a better chance of winning back high kicks than grubbers because there is always a chance of the ball bouncing badly.”

His feet and finishing are also good enough to mark him as a Bok contender and the Force will have to keep a close eye on him.

Read more on:    super 14  |  bjorn basson

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