Boks in UK

Hougaard: Pick me at 9!

2012-11-22 07:46
Francois Hougaard (AFP)
Cape Town - Francois Hougaard, who's currently doing duty at wing for the Springboks, says he only wants to be considered at scrumhalf in the near future.

Hougaard has been used regularly at either wing or scrumhalf over the last few years, but if the 24-year-old has his way, Saturday's Test against England at Twickenham will be his last in the No 11 jersey.

“My preferred position is definitely scrumhalf and I do think that playing wing as much as I have been has hurt my play as a scrumhalf,” Hougaard told the website on Wednesday.

“I have made it known to the coaches at the Bulls that scrumhalf is where I want to specialise from now on. I will only develop as a scrumhalf if I play there regularly. What I need is a full pre-season where I work only as a scrumhalf, and then to play only as a scrumhalf when the season starts. That will get me thinking like a scrumhalf.

“There are a lot of technical aspects of scrumhalf that require a heck of a lot of hard work and preparation, and I just haven’t been able to put in the time that is needed as I have been playing so much on the wing. Playing 10 minutes or so as a scrumhalf later in the game after playing the first part as a wing is not going to help me develop into the player I want to be.”

Hougaard also admitted that his inclusion at left wing above Lwazi Mvovo makes him feel uncomfortable. "I feel for Lwazi because he is a top player," he told the Beeld website. "I really want Lwazi to play, because it's not nice for me. It feels unfair that I play in his position."

Hougaard will play his 27th Test when he runs out on the left wing at Twickenham on Saturday.

Of Hougaard's 26 Tests, he's played wing 12 times, scrumhalf 13 times and once featured at fullback. However, his last six games were all played on the wing, which has added to the Bulls star's frustrations.

Kick-off on Saturday is at 16:30 (SA time).




South Africa:

15 Zane Kirchner, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp

Substitutes: 16. Schalk Brits, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Pat Cilliers, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Elton Jantjies, 22 Jaco Taute, 23 Lwazi Mvovo


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