Mujati may be Div's Bok shock

2011-04-19 22:03
Brian Mujati (File)
Stephen Nell

Cape Town - Springbok supporters may soon be chanting "Mooooj" together with "Beeeast" when Brian Mujati makes a possible return to South Africa's front row.

VIDEO: Mujati hits form

Sport24 understands that the forgotten Bok prop, who now plays for the Northampton Saints in England, could be a potential South African ace in this year's international season.

Mujati (26) made his test debut under the coaching of Peter de Villiers in 2008, but went to England in 2009 after two seasons with the Stormers.

De Villiers will on Wednesday announce a squad of between 45 and 50 locally-based players for South Africa's first planning session in Cape Town on 1 and 2 May in the build-up to the World Cup.

Mujati will not be in the squad as he is based overseas, but is one of a handful of players that may well come into the reckoning further down the line.

He is excelling for the Saints in Europe and Sport24 understands that his excellent form has come to the attention of the Springbok selectors.

"I regard him as one of the best tighthead props in the world," former Bok tighthead prop Cobus Visagie said on Tuesday when quizzed about Mujati.

"Almost nobody here has managed to put him under pressure in the scrums. His binding technique is 100% and he seldom concedes penalties. Brian also has a good work-rate and recently scored a few tries."

Visagie has first-hand knowledge of Mujati's form - the former Bok is the scrumming consultant at Saracens and therefore has good knowledge of the front-row talent in Europe.

South Africa already boasts a world class tighthead in Jannie du Plessis, but Visagie believes the Boks could certainly benefit from adding Mujati to the mix.

He also believes that South Africa should take note of Schalk Brits's form and that the fleet-footed Saracens No 2 could be very effective off the Bok bench.

"I think South Africa needs a bit of mobility among their tight forwards. Bismarck du Plessis, of course, is an exceptional player," said Visagie.

"Deon Fourie (Stormers hooker) is a player I like and I understand the plan with John Smit. However, anybody who sees how well Schalk Brits is playing here against international players, will realise his value.

"Schalk's play in the set phases has developed here. If South Africa want to consider him as an impact player, they really cannot do any better."

Visagie believes there is merit in the idea of sometimes using Smit off the substitutes bench and having his cool head in the closing stages of major games.

"There is place for that in the greater plan, but by that logic could nobody else then be able to perform that role? South Africa have a very experienced team. I believe John should be part of the greater plan - if he plays well enough."

As far as the loosehead position is concerned, Visagie believes Tendai Mtawarira and Gurthrö Steenkamp are logical choices for the World Cup.

He does not share the view of former Bok prop Willie Meyer that Coenie Oosthuizen should be in South Africa's World Cup squad.

"As far as young props are concerned, I rate Dean Greyling (Bulls) and Wicus Blaauw (Stormers) higher than Coenie," said Visagie.

Visagie is particularly concerned about the number of penalties that Oosthuizen concedes.

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