BJ 'is a must' for RWC 2011

2010-05-03 10:29

J.J. Harmse

Pretoria – Are BJ Botha and CJ van der Linde really our only options, or are there other tighthead props that can develop in the Super 14?

I have little doubt that we can’t afford to go to next year’s World Cup without Botha, in particular, as he’s our best in the position.

There was a feverish search for tighthead props in Cape Town last week. The fact that the Stormers apparently enquired about the availability of players such as Carl Hayman and Faan Rautenbach made me wonder what we are doing wrong in that regard.

From a national perspective any decision will depend on what coach Peter de Villiers plans to do with John Smit.

The knives are out for Smit at tighthead and while the Bok captain is impressing at loosehead, De Villiers has already indicated that he disagrees with the Sharks.

Do our players simply need time or can they really play Test rugby? Here I’m talking about Brok Harris, Werner Kruger and WP Nel, and to a lesser extent about Jannie du Plessis and Heinke van der Merwe.

Du Plessis and Van der Merwe’s reputations suffered against Leicester on last year’s end-of-season Bok tour. Du Plessis has not really made his breakthrough, particularly not under De Villiers.

There will probably be questions about his temperament and temper, but I prefer a robust tighthead.

That is probably what counts against Harris, Kruger and Nel at the moment. It is also a fact that tightheads are like good wine in the sense that they get better with age, so those players may still be getting there.

The answer will hopefully be found in a few brave choices by De Villiers.

He can use Harris and Kruger in a few tests this year and leave it to them to sink or swim.

For me Nel’s shares have plummeted a little. He has not showed the necessary improvement at Super14 level in spite of having a scrum coach like Os du Randt.

Kruger must be the next player in line as Emerging Springbok. He is the Bulls’ best player on a weekly basis in terms of cleanouts at the rucks and his defence in the tight loose is outstanding.

However, Harris is the man who has put his hand up the highest this year. He’s playing excellent rugby and it’s his ability to play outside the scrum as well that really makes him a valuable player.

I would let both swim this year and expect at least one of them not to sink.
JJ’s form team:
Zane Kirchner, Gerhard van den Heever, Jaque Fourie, Wynand Olivier, Bryan Habana, Morné Steyn, Fourie du Preez, Pierre Spies, Juan Smith, Schalk Burger, Andries Bekker, Victor Matfield, Brok Harris, Tiaan Liebenberg, Gurthrö Steenkamp.


  • scud - 2010-05-03 10:48

    as this is a "form" team,Wynand Olivier is too predictable,and Francois Louw cannot be left out. Play Peter Grant at 12

  • Willem Marais - 2010-05-03 11:00

    Not a bad team. And I know it is extremely difficult for JJ. .to remain objective when he has no choice but to select any Stormers player.

  • IVAN - 2010-05-03 11:19

    Nee wat ou JJ, maak die volgende veranderinge, kry Francois Steyn terug op heelagter en Jean de Villiers op binne senter, die res van jou span lyk nie te sleg nie, maak Victor Matfield kaptein.

  • Mark - 2010-05-03 11:27

    thats a rubbish forewad pack, anyone who wants to play Bekker and Matfield together cant be trusted to make any rugby decisions. Harris for TH what are you smoking?

  • byron - 2010-05-03 11:45

    And no real captain

  • scott - 2010-05-03 11:52

    Your biggest mistake is you left out Smit, In the words of Naas Botha, The first 2 players you pick are your captain and your kicker, your team doesn't have a captain, Matfield is nowhere near as good a captain as smit. Teams with great captains win world cups.

  • Lion@Scud - 2010-05-03 12:21

    Peter Grant in the Boks? Please! Your provincial bias is showing just a little bit!

  • The Godfather - 2010-05-03 12:45

    It's all good and well, but everyone knows the Springbok team will not look anything like that. Gerhard vd Heever will never make the side and Peter de Villiers is extremely predjudice concerning Wynand Olivier even though he is by far the superior inside centre in the Super 14. You can expect Bakkies to partner Matfield and John Smit back at hooker. I can't see De Villiers fielding Harris at tighthead though.

  • Craig - 2010-05-03 12:58

    15 - Patrick Lambie; 4 - Bakkies Botha; 2 - John Smit; 1 - Beast Mtawarira - That's 3 extra Sharks and I'm a Bull!!

  • slg - 2010-05-03 13:08

    Smit at Loosehead and Captain, Bismarck at Hooker, Jean De Villiers at 12, and Francois Steyn at 15

  • Byron - 2010-05-03 16:58

    John@loosehead with Dysel behind him on the flank and Bakkies behind the tighthead - You need strength to compete at scrumtime and you need john to captain. Besides any flank that can bounce off bakkies in a loose maul deserves some mention

  • Tjoppie - 2010-05-03 17:17

    Matfield is no Bok captain. He proved it over and over again. Pieter even had to send Smit back onto the field because Matfield could not hold it together. All comment from the Flou Bal supporters will be ignored because their thinking is never logical. Always emotional.

  • Ron - 2010-05-04 09:40

    Wynand Olivier is not the answer at 12, every year he has a great super 14, but not once has he been able to prove his worth in a GREEN yersey. he has had his chances so lets move on.

  • Koos van die Kaap - 2010-05-04 10:48

    Ons het verlede Saterdag gesien hoe 'n k*k kaptein Victor is en hoe 'n goeie kaptein John is. Onder John se leiding het hulle die Bulls vermorsel. Sarkasme! John is oor die muur as speler en as kaptein en is 'n risiko vir enige span. Ek is 'n geharde Stormwr/WP ondersteuner, maar my eerste keuse is Victor as kaptein. Hy is nie 'n briljante kaptein nie, maar betroubaar en minstens is hy seker van sy plek in die span.

  • Fanie - 2010-05-04 11:27

    Make Juan Smith captain, he is a great leader and motivator, look how he turned the fortunes of the Cheetahs around since he's been back.

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