Bismarck: I just want to play

2011-05-31 10:35

Quintin van Jaarsveld

Johannesburg - With the heated debate on whether incumbent Springbok captain John Smit or fellow Rugby World Cup-winner Bismarck du Plessis should start at hooker for the Springboks and the Sharks raging on, Du Plessis says he simply wants to play.

Smit, who was in May confirmed as Springbok skipper for the 2011 international season, has been utilised in all three positions in the front row by Sharks coach John Plumtree in Vodacom Super Rugby this season, much to the disapproval of Springbok coach Peter de Villiers, who wants to see Smit used as a specialist hooker.

Du Plessis, the current consensus form hooker in world rugby, feels too much has been made of the positional battle and says he merely wants to produce consistently good performances in order to retain his place in the Springbok squad.

“I certainly don’t enjoy sitting on the bench, I’d be lying if I said I did. I think every player wants to start but it doesn’t really matter to be,” Du Plessis told

“I have great respect for John, he’s always helped me to improve my game and it’s great to play with him.

“At the end of the day, whether I’m starting or playing off the bench, I just want to play good rugby to stand a chance of playing for the Springbok in the Tri-Nations and the World Cup,” added Du Plessis.   

The 27-year-old further indicated that he would likely re-sign with the Durban-based side at the conclusion of his current contract.

“My contract (at the Sharks) expires later this year. We’re currently in talks with the Sharks and I’m not really looking at other options at this stage,” said Du Plessis.

Touching on the Sharks’ Super Rugby campaign, Du Plessis said, “We’ve lost a few games we shouldn’t have and we only have ourselves to blame for that, but we have a couple of games left.

“We’ve had a couple of injuries in certain positions that impacted the dynamic of the team but we have great depth and are almost back to a full complement of players,” he said.

Du Plessis added that due to the length of the expanded Super Rugby tournament, each team will be faced with a test of character and depth at some stage of the season.

“I don’t think any team can really be at the top of their game for a full 21 weeks. Every team would’ve experienced some up and downs this season…for us it’s not about the fall but how we get up from that fall that’s important,” he said.

With the Castle Tri-Nations commencing on July 23 and the Rugby World Cup reaching its hundred-day countdown on Wednesday, Du Plessis said the players in the Sharks camp aren’t getting ahead of themselves and are firmly focused on clinching that elusive Super Rugby title.

“We’re fully focused on Super Rugby,” he said. “It’s a competition we really want to win. The Bulls are the only South African side to have won it, so that’s our main priority at this stage.”

Du Plessis, however, noted that the Springboks’ hopes of successfully defending their World Cup crown will rest on each and every member of the squad.

“All 28 players that are going to the World Cup are going to play a vital role. In 2007, each player had a specific role. It won’t just be up to the core group of players. The fringe players are going to play a major part.

“Frans (Steyn) wasn’t in the 22, Jean (De Villiers) started, and he kicked the winning penalty in the final, so I believe the fringe players are going to be the most important in terms of keeping up the spirit and confidence level within the squad.”


  • sparkster - 2011-05-31 10:45

    After the RWC he will 1st choice hooker for the Sharks and the Boks(my opinion).He is a great player.He contributes a large amount to the loose forward game! But your usual inbreed DAHS from up North(Lloyd,Brannas,etc) say that he is a has been, he sucks and Uli Schmidt should still be the Bok Hooker!!!!

      GILLBERT - 2011-05-31 10:54

      no my friend after the world cup chilli will be captain..... black captain, old snorre was just the first step of the lather

      Blougroen - 2011-05-31 11:13

      I think the Bulls should exchange him for the "new Springbok Captain" . . . the Sharks clearly put much store into playing "springbok Captains" and not the "best hookers in the world". . . .

      Russell - 2011-05-31 11:17

      Explain DAHS????(Lloyd,Brannas)??

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-05-31 11:22

      @Sparkster - those clowns you mention still believe "Gary B" should be Bok hooker.....quite sad actually, when Chiliboy is making Gary look decidedly foolish week in and out. Chiliboy has upped his game massively, and with the rugby he is currently playing, would have no problem starting at 2 for the Boks. Bissie has been a bit 'off' all season (although I think it is a mental thing...due to the Smit/Bissie issues), and John Smit in all honesty (and it saddens me to say it) would not start in my Bok team at 2, not even against the so-called weaker teams.

      Dan - 2011-05-31 12:36

      @ SAFFA-CAT. I can't agree with you more. Chilli is on fire currently and can lead my pack of forwards any day.

      vdwjasper - 2011-05-31 12:53

      Bismarck to start and Schalk Brits coming off the bench as impact player. Killer.

      GraemeBB - 2011-05-31 16:10

      @SAFFA - Chilli is my man for the job. G Botha not a touch on this man! Bismark is unlucky at the Sharks, but can count himself lucky to be in the Bok squad. Chilli is going to keep him out.

  • No1Dutchman - 2011-05-31 11:14

    Leave the black white racist remarks out of sport, Chilli boy is a fantastic hooker, better than Botha in the Blue Bull camp and deserves his place as a player. People like yourself s are the cause that the government wants to remove the Springbok name and South Africans supporting the All Blacks. We need to move on in South Africa, if you don't want to live with black South Africans move away out of our country, you are hampering progress. Habbana, Chiili Boy, Mvovo, Aplon and many more players of colour are not Quota players. Lastly what about Mjati and Chalk Brits in the UK these players are world class.

      GILLBERT - 2011-05-31 11:18

      im sorry, did i hit a nerve.... sport and politics loop soos trompie en kettie..... mark my words chilli will be captain and bizzi will be on the bench again.....

      sparkster - 2011-05-31 11:22

      Agree, we have fantastic Black , Colored players in this country who are where they are on merit and not on quota .The Beast ,Chilli Boy etc.So Gillbert dont even go their.It must be so hard for the people up North to accept that their are better Black players then White Afrikaans players!!!!

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-05-31 11:24

      @No 1 Dutchman - rumour has it Mujati might just be the bolter when the Bok squad is announced. Brits, I don't think will get a look in as we already have 3 contracted Bok hookers. He has been sublime this season though, and most who watched any Pom rugga would agree.

      GILLBERT - 2011-05-31 11:28

      im sure their is, and there are quality players........ you guys made this a racial thing.... the only thing i implied is that politics will probably play a role after the world cup and bissmark will be second best again..... as far as black players go, if they are good enough go for it great and good on them, but if their not and just another political foot ball you and all other supporters can get fkd

      ARRA - 2011-05-31 11:57

      no1dutchman -Chilli is no a better player than Botha in the Bulls camp ,they are on a rotating base playing where Bulls management deside -Botha brought back stability in Bulls frontrow ,which was a problem before he rejoin them last season-that point solved Habanna is past his sellby date,Mjatji is good for scrumming point, watched a few games he played not better than any of local franchise props in SR, and Chalk or Schalk Brits is not a player of colour Mvovo good player must get more starts ,Aplon overrated but very nippy and is always a asset on attack good player thow

      Dan - 2011-05-31 12:38

      @ NO1Dutchman. I hear you and you have a good point. One mistake however - Habana is currently worse than a quota players. For 2 season now

      LexLuther - 2011-05-31 13:37

      Yes but PLEASE not Ricky Januarie and Conrad Jantjes and Habana is badly out of form. Badly

      StaalBurgher - 2011-05-31 14:01

      @Dutchman, what the hell are you talking about? What I find most intruging with apologists like you is how you can just flat out ignore deny BEE happens, eventhough it is spoken about by politicians and there are "quotas" in Divvy's employment contracts, i.e. x number of non-white players etc etc. Typical to your handwringing liberal self you muddy the water with other player names. No one was talking about Habana, Mvovo etc. In fact I would love to see Mvovo ahead of Habana who is no longer the star he was. How would that be racist? Bismarck is the best hooker in the country but chances are he will be relegated so that we have a black captain. And people preferring him to Chilliboy has no racist bias because those same people prefer him to John Smit. Of course that doesn't fit in with your easy stereotyping of anyone that dares speak out against the government's agenda. The "talk" to remove the Springbok emblem etc etc has been there from Day 1. It did not happen suddenly in reaction to the rubbish you are referring to. And if you really wanted to "move on" then it shouldn't be an issue to have a black captain because we are all just South Africans right? But that is not the case is it? This is guaranteed to cause lots of resentment and hypocrits like you will pretend to ignore the real reason behind it, instead blaming it on racism. You are the worst type of human being, a hypocrit. I don't know how you sleep at night.

  • Jacques - 2011-05-31 11:32

    @ Blougroen. Bismarck and Jannie wanted to join the Bulls a year or so ago. Heyneke Meyer said no as they are too disruptive an influence in a squad.

      No1Dutchman - 2011-05-31 11:37

      I agree with you Jacques they are disruptive and could cost us a world cup.

  • No1Dutchman - 2011-05-31 11:34

    Gilbert so what if Chilli boy is the captain, he is a South African. Rugby is not just for us Afrikaner whites any more. South African rugby is for all since 1994.

      GILLBERT - 2011-05-31 11:38

      the point im trieng to make is that there will probably just another obstacle in bismark path......

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-05-31 11:43

      @Gillbert: I don't see you moaning about John Smit being captain? (When on his current form he would struggle to make the Georgia starting 15) Just asking. At least if Chiliboy captained, his form would at the VERY least warrant selection in the 1st place.......

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-05-31 11:46

      @Gillbert - the BIGGEST obstacle in Bismarks path - is Bismark himself mate. He is a quality hooker, and in open play he is massive. He is also one of the best pilferers of the ball in the game. Sadly, he seems to wear his heart on his sleeve...and his form follows suit. (Once John Smit is gone, I reckon we might just see a 100% back in business Bissie)

      GILLBERT - 2011-05-31 11:51

      i didnt mention john smith as we all know john will be first choice for the world cup.... i was talking about what might happen after the world cup.... and that politics might play a role in bizzi having to suck it up and be sencond choice again..... who knows maybe schalk or juan will be cappie...... i dont think i once said chilli is k#k

      sparkster - 2011-05-31 11:55 gotta feel for the guy.Smit is a legend but he is not the quality player he used to be.He is still in my books a good leader but that must be hard for Bismark to swallow.He is the Bok captain so we have to play him ahead of you!!!!He is not a prop, and i hope they dont use him in that position against the top sides in the RWC

      GILLBERT - 2011-05-31 11:55

      not recently that is

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-05-31 12:12

      @Sparkster - yup. I do feel for Bissie, it must be awful when the world over one is called the best in ones position, yet will spend most of the WC on the bench? Divvy has said he will NOT play John at prop - which basically means Bissie will getting splinters, OR play a 30 minute role per game at best. I feel for John Smit as well, he does not select himself. It is a rather cr@ppy state of affairs - which is why I reckon Bissie will FLOURISH once John is gone - both at the Sharks, and for the Boks. He will defintely be in a "far happier place emotionally" once John is gone. In fact, quite a few players will be better off once this entire Bok setup has sailed off into the sunset.......

      Frans Smith - 2011-05-31 12:14

      listen you arse, rugby has never been "just for the afrikaner whites"!! It is an international sport. It was not founded by the "white afrikaner" either? The fact that the "white afrikaner" excelled in the game because they have guts and do not shy away from physical confrontation (partly due to their hard life in south acfrica particularly whilst shaping this country), is merely a compliment to their durability and physical abilities. Look how well the argentines and the fijians are adapting to the game? The reason why people (LIKE YOU) immediately jump on the "stereotype/racism" wagon, some blatantly and some just stirring things up (YES YOU ALSO) is because of BEE, AA, QUOTAS.. Add to that our "higly educated" leadership in SA with the encouraging discriminating systems and laws. The original article was about smidt and bismarck - no reason for racism there. the fact that some think chilli will be included as a result of his skin colour, rather than his abilities is a product of these discriminating systems and laws (AA, BEE, QUOTAS). Untill that is done away with, people will always have the luxury to wonder, speculate and form opinion. Who can blame them? If unions are forced to have a certain number of a certain racial group in the team? Why does england, the all blacks, australia and the french never have the same issues? To come back to the article, never has a side ever won the world cup 2 x in a row with the same "old guard" the ab's tried 1987, england 2007

      Dan - 2011-05-31 12:41

      @ No1Dutchman and GILLBERT. You two should cool down. Please stop bringing race always into sport. I don't care what colour - Chilli is on current form the supreme hooker and and he is South African. Habana for instance was excellent a couple of years ago, he is South African too and current a quota player. Nothing to do with race.

  • Chris - 2011-05-31 11:36

    Bismarck is n lekker vuilg@t speler, hy moet nie eers toegelaat word om te speel nie. Het gesien met die game teen die bulle hoe hy Morny Steyn se been getrap het in n ruck, en nie enige been nie, sy skop been...vuilg@t....stuur hom om sokker te speel....

      Niekie - 2011-05-31 12:07

      @Chris, jy is 100% reg! Hy is 'n vuilgat en kyk bietjie hoeveel strafskoppe staan hy elke game af! Nee wat, gee my enige iemand anders op hakker!

      Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-05-31 12:55

      Bismarch is a walking yellow card

      kosie - 2011-05-31 16:49

      @ niekie, go check the stats before you talk: top penalties conceded this year, bismarck is not even in the top 20. not one sharks player, but 4 bulls players though. @ rob: he only recieved 1 card so far this season, deon stegman x2, go check the stats. you guys are always quick to go on past experiences, bismarck has worked on his discipline and it has worked out for him. go check the stats... and i know stats don't always say everything but in this instance it does.

  • YB Normal - 2011-05-31 11:40

    At the moment Strauss from cheetahs is the no 1 hooker in the country. He delivers an excellent game week in and week out, and he is most accurate at lineout time. he has excellent leadership qualities to add to the rest of his game. Bizzie is an excellent hooker but his lineout accuracy has gone down, might be due to the lack of quality locks in the shark tank, but strauss has a similar problem as the Cheehtahs locks at the moment is not great at all. This weekends game will be a great match-up between the 2 ex-grey boys.

      No1Dutchman - 2011-05-31 11:45

      YB Normal we have so many hookers at the moment sorry we haven't even considered Straus, he had a brilliant game against the bulls. He surprises me so often, because he looks uncomfortable, but boy can he run and he reads the game well.

      Chronoman - 2011-05-31 12:28

      Agreed, Strauss is way above the other hookers in SA, but of course he will most probably not get his chance. He is also much less of a liability than Bismarck because he remains cool at all times.

      Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-05-31 12:57

      Agreed, Strauss at least read ( and understood and committed to memory ) the law book.

  • ZACommentator - 2011-05-31 11:42

    There should be no debate. Smit should have retired 2 years ago

      No1Dutchman - 2011-05-31 11:54

      I understand the debate about Smith, but a big But we don't have a captain of his calibre. On the hooker debate there is world class, Schalk Britz, Chilli boy and Straus that I think overall is better than Bismark. Facets for a good hooker is not just 1 thing, but many more than one facet.

      Grunk - 2011-05-31 12:36

      I really don't get the point that Smith is the B all and end all as captain - neither for the Sharks nor the Boks. I have seen him lose ten times the amount of close games than he has won - which is the 2nd (underline 2nd) thing to look at as a captain - just look at Saurday's match as an example which the Sharks were losing up to the time he was replaced. The primary aspect is that he should be within the Top 2 in his position in the country - let's see the Saffa's who are ahead of him: Bismarck, Fourie, Chiliboy, Brits........ the list goes on by at least a couple.

  • silverflash - 2011-05-31 12:22

    why is it that a certain okes on this blog always bring racism into a discussion ? u guys must please rather refrain from spilling ur wothless dribble here .Go educate urselfs..

      No1Dutchman - 2011-05-31 13:05

      Silverflash we are not kids on this blog, learn to read and see the comments made about black players, our rugby coach on rugby blogs and this one in particular. Bismark is to destructive as a no 2, I would rather play Chilli Boy, Straus or Britz. I would pick Straus as no 1 in the less important games as vice captain to Victor to give him the experience for the next world cup as Captain. Have you seen Schalk Britz playing yet, he kicks and runs like a winger and tackles like a beast.

  • silverflash - 2011-05-31 12:24

    Back to the rugga discussion , Bismark should start .John can be used as a impact player and his skills can be used from the touchline to guide the team.

      jan du preeaz - 2011-05-31 18:56

      bwaa haa haa, JS an impact player, are you nuts? that oke huffs and puff before he leaves the changehouse, an impact player is fit and fast. rather stick to Paula's party on the cooking channels and leave rugby to us supporters

  • JJRR - 2011-05-31 12:41

    Div en kie gaan veroorsaak dat Bismarck die Sharks gaan verlaat!

      Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-05-31 12:59

      Bismarck's contract with the Sharks is a joke! He held them ( Sharks ) over a barrel and threatend to leave if they did not guarantee that he would take second place to JS. This has been in place for the last 4 seasons!

      Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-05-31 13:02

      Do yourself a favour, read JS's book captain in the cauldron - it gives great insight to some of the inner workings of the establishment.

  • Francois - 2011-05-31 13:04

    Hy moet Bulls toe kom.

      Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-05-31 13:16

      @Francois - sorry boet but Bismarck and Jannie are a "package deal". There's no place at the Bulls for both of them...

      What de D... - 2011-05-31 13:56

      jy moet 'n brein kry Francois

      GraemeBB - 2011-05-31 16:13

      What the hell are we going to do with the 2nd best hooker here? Chilli is far better, and safer.

      jan du preeaz - 2011-05-31 19:01

      stem saam Greame, Chilli kook op die oomblik, maar kan hy n' ausie of franse haker in RWC final intimedeer? bismarck is die man om dit te doen, en Chilli kan opkom as n' impak speler, fiks, vars en vinnig.

      shark4eva - 2011-06-01 11:30

      Chilli is better and safer Graeme ? Guess that's why you are not a selector or a coach??? Bwahahaha

  • No1Dutchman - 2011-05-31 13:07

    Bismark is to destructive as a no 2, I would rather play Chilli Boy, Straus or Britz. I would pick Straus as no 1 in the less important games as vice captain to Victor to give him the experience for the next world cup as Captain. Have you seen Schalk Britz playing yet, he kicks and runs like a winger and tackles like a beast.

      ARRA - 2011-05-31 13:33

      Now you start talking sense

  • GraemeBB - 2011-05-31 16:04

    The headline should read: I just want to play dirty

  • ARRA - 2011-05-31 16:24

    Now Bismark go and play

  • jan du preeaz - 2011-05-31 19:13

    15 - frans steyn - kan ook loskakel en senter speel 14 - aplon/ vd heever (altwee kan heelagter speel) 13 - fourie 12 - de villiers met meisiekind as backup 11 - JP/ mblowu 10 - steyn/ lambie 9 - fourie/ sarel met hougaard as all rounder 8 - duane om sag te maak met spies as impak speler 7 - danie R om sag te maak en Johnson as impak speler 6 - corrobrick burger om sag te maak en brousow as impak speler 5 - matfield en parkiebank 4 - BAKKIES "ek haat scrummies" en ...? 3 - ? 2 - bismark!!!! en chilli 1 - ? spelers om te vermy: smit, habanna, jantjies, kirshner, janawarie

      JoeStormer - 2011-05-31 21:32

      Duane om sag te maak??? Wat kan hy sagmaak behalwe sy peester en pap?

      ARRA - 2011-06-01 07:59

      3 Werner met JP Nel as backup 2 Strauss met Liebenberg as backup 1 Greyiling Oosthuizen Beast maar nie in spesifieke volg orde nie 11 Basson met JP 8 Spies ruil met Duane in begin span

  • JoeStormer - 2011-05-31 21:30

    Bismarck should first learn how to count to ten.

      shark4eva - 2011-06-01 11:28

      Would love to see you tell him that to his face Joe, or no wait you hide behind your comments on a computer?!

  • Jacques - 2011-05-31 22:04

    The two best hookers at the moment is Liebenberg and Adriaan Strauss. Play Bismarck as No 3 and Liebenberg as hooker with Adriaan on the bench. John, like Greame Smith, can go somewhere to take a rest or let him play the water carrier. He can then still be captain and be in a better position as to the best tactics the boks must follow. This is the first time that I see someone selected as captain and only then is a position for him decided on.

      shark4eva - 2011-06-01 11:26

      Tiaan Liebenberg not even starting for the Stormers - how can you make a statement like that?

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