Sign-up for the latest, breaking news!


    Opportunity knocks for Chiliboy

    2011-02-22 22:32
    JJ Harmse

    Pretoria – Chiliboy Ralepelle will on Friday once again get the opportunity to serve South Africans a reminder of his rugby talent.

    The Bulls hooker will then only make his 21st appearance for them in a Super Rugby match – six years after making his debut in the competition.

    It will only be the fifth time that the 25-year-old hooker is in the starting team and the first time since 11 April 2009 when he was in the run-on side against the Waratahs.

    There won’t be many arguments against the statement that Ralepelle has never let his team-mates down in a blue or even a Green and Gold jersey.

    However, he has not been able to establish himself as the first-choice at the Bulls or Boks.

    Ralepelle’s never ending battle with injuries (he only completed the 2009 Super Rugby without problems) has meant that he has not had sufficient opportunities to silence the critics. The flames have only been fanned by national coaches wanting the player in their squads.

    There were inevitable questions about the reason for his inclusion – and unfortunately for the hardworking hooker he is viewed as a political inclusion by many supporters.

    If that was not enough to break his spirit, he was provisionally suspended last year for the use of a banned stimulant. While his innocence was proved at a hearing, there can be no doubt that his reputation took a further knock.

    But all that can move to the background this year if Ralepelle grabs his opportunities – like the one in Bloemfontein on Friday.

    His inclusion may be because of a shoulder injury to Gary Botha, but Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said that all Ralepelle’s team-mates respect his ability as a player.

    “Chili has been part of our squad for a long time and is highly rated. It’s a pity that the rest of the country could not see the best of him because of all his injuries, but we know what we have in him. He is good enough to start games for the Bulls.”

    Apart from the forced change at hooker, Ludeke has picked a fit Jaco Pretorius at outside centre.

    Stephan Dippenaar therefore moves to the bench in place of Jaco van der Westhuyzen, while flank Derick Kuün will be the back-up hooker, a position he played in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
    Read More On:  super 15 chiliboy ralepelle

    Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    Comments have been closed for this article.
    Live Video Streaming
    • Blitz
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
    • SS1
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
    • SS2
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
    • SS3
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Most Read


    04 July 2015
    27 June 2015
    20 June 2015
    13 June 2015
    12 June 2015
    06 June 2015
    05 June 2015
    30 May 2015
    29 May 2015
    23 May 2015
    22 May 2015
    16 May 2015
    15 May 2015
    09 May 2015
    08 May 2015
    02 May 2015
    01 May 2015
    26 April 2015
    25 April 2015
    24 April 2015
    18 April 2015
    17 April 2015
    11 April 2015
    10 April 2015
    04 April 2015
    03 April 2015
    28 March 2015
    27 March 2015
    22 March 2015
    21 March 2015
    20 March 2015
    14 March 2015
    13 March 2015
    07 March 2015
    06 March 2015
    28 February 2015
    27 February 2015
    21 February 2015
    20 February 2015
    15 February 2015
    14 February 2015
    13 February 2015


    “Craig Joubert deserves plaudits for making a gutsy call against the home side in the Super Rugby semis, writes Herman Mostert.”

    Opinion Poll

    Super Rugby is a thing of the past. Next up: The Rugby Championship. Who will emerge victorious this season?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.