‘There is life after Jaque’

2012-01-25 12:00

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – As long as Jean de Villiers, the other link in the old firm, stays fit the Stormers can yet prosper without Jaque Fourie in their midfield for the first time in some three years.

That is the view of former Springbok, Canada and Western Province centre Christian Stewart.

The Newlands-based franchise, in naming what seems a full-strength set of outside backs for the home pre-season meeting with Currie Cup champions the Lions on Friday night, predictably paired De Villiers with promising fellow-Springbok Juan de Jongh at centre.

Fourie, who added to a formidable triangle of internationals in the Super Rugby conference winners’ midfield last season, opted recently not to return for another campaign with the Stormers and instead further his lucratively-paid career more meaningfully in Japan.

“The Stormers will clearly miss Fourie because I believe they made better use of his attributes than South Africa did, certainly at the last World Cup,” Stewart told Sport24 on Wednesday.

“The Bok game-plan, and also their policy at flyhalf, meant Jaque’s skills were seldom employed to the maximum.

“He should be such a key element to any team’s intentions: he’s the sort of player of whom any direct opponent is usually saying ‘phew, this guy’s both bigger than me and more multi-talented than me’.”

Yet for all the talk of how Fourie used to almost instinctively call the Stormers’ defensive requirements during play, Stewart believes 30-year-old De Villiers is just as capable of running that department, especially being generally a little closer to the action at No 12.

“Jean has the sort of broad qualities that could easily be taken for granted. I don’t see any special signs yet of age affecting his game and I reckon I would still place him in my World XV – yes, he’s that good.”

As for De Jongh, whose own opportunities over the past two years or so have occasionally been limited at both international and Super Rugby level by the more senior start-out partnership of De Villiers and Fourie, Stewart said: “His time has really now come, hasn’t it?

“I am just inclined to think he is also slightly more suited to No 12, but it really doesn’t matter because we’ve seen what he can do (in both midfield slots).”


  • Bootman - 2012-01-25 12:10

    The one thing that defines a good centre was the one thing that started to lack in Jacques game as of late......line breaks. Whats the use of marshalling a defence if your not creating opportunities on attack. Then there was also the decline in pace that started to show. With the young talent coming through at the moment, I dont think he will be missed.

      Steenbra - 2012-01-25 13:49

      Stormers started with a promising centre pairing against Boland and Brache looked good when he came on as well.

  • Bulldozer - 2012-01-25 12:11

    There wasn't much life 'during' Jaque.

      Jed - 2012-01-25 13:03

      Not much life in the Bulls last year. With there stars , I reckon they wont make the top 10 with there current bunch.... LOL. Bulls are nothing but a good bet for a mid table finish.......

      Bulldozer - 2012-01-25 13:07

      You are probably right. At least we can savour a decade of dominance for a while still. How about you?

      Tom - 2012-01-25 14:28

      If the Bulls can just realize that rugby is a team game and not a 10 man game then it will go better with them. There is already a game played with 7 players on the field, it is called 7's. It is very exciting and fast. Together with the 15 man game, I think we have enough difference in the sport.10 man rugby is as old and boring as the stale cakes you buy on a Sunday afternoon raodside cafe.

      Jimmy - 2012-01-25 16:00

      My team (Saders) is one of the most entertaining teams around, but I will tell you this, when the Bulls knock us out of the tournament 3 times in 4 years, nobody cared about 10 man rugby, they were simply brilliant. I haven't seen any exciting rugby from the sharks or stormers, so wouldn't bash the Bulls too much as they have had all your numbers for the past decade..... Oh, and like the Crusaders, the Bulls will be back where as you guys never arrived !!! The End

  • Daryn - 2012-01-25 12:25

    I am a firm believer that the two (Jean and Jaque) should have retired after the last world cup along with the host of others. Juan is a great prospect and does not get afforded game time with these two at his franchise De Jongh is one of our best prospects at centre (well in my humble opinion)

      Shaun - 2012-01-25 13:34

      De Jongh I feel is too small for an international 13.

      Steenbra - 2012-01-25 13:48

      Daryn Jaque is going to be 28.. far to young to retire..and as Shuan.... stop being consumed with size. I dont know why size is constantly mentioned, since he has been of the better tacklers at both S15 and at international level when he has represented SA.. Look @ Brussouw, whom Snake said was too small, is a monster on defence and a great fetcher..

      Tom - 2012-01-25 14:32

      Jean de Jongh has showed in many occasions that he can stand his ground in midfield on attack and in defence.He is the man of the moment.

  • Nico - 2012-01-25 12:37

    *Yawn* another stormers story! i'm just glad their marketing department is not playing, because then they would have won all the trophies the last 11 years!!

      Paul - 2012-01-25 12:50

      @ Nico Too true. Did you hear what Schalk had for breakfast this morning?

      Nico - 2012-01-25 12:56

      hahahaha Paul, i'm waiting for the article, and off course it will be well commented on, hahahahaha

      malcolm.molver - 2012-01-25 13:13

      Agreed! Always so much hype around the Stormers, year after year. And when last did they win anything? 2001!

      Lionel - 2012-01-25 13:18

      If it bothers you boys so much,send a letter of complaint to News24!!!!!!!!!

      Nico - 2012-01-25 13:18

      I'm just relieved that Earl Rose is not with the stormers, can you image the amount of publicity then ...

      Lionel - 2012-01-25 13:30

      @Nico,even I would complain if that had to happen....hahahahahahaha

      malcolm.molver - 2012-01-25 13:36

      The only people giving a thumbs down are Stormers supporters! Shame. They always follow Sport24 and buy into their team's hype, only to be left silent and red faced season after season.

  • Julian - 2012-01-25 13:59

    As a lover of Rugby in general, i ask a question about your RUGBY that has always puzzled me .Why has your biggest city (Jo burg) have the most poorly performed SA team in SUPER 10/12/14/15 history ??..Surely a powerful LIONS FRANCHISE/ TEAM translates to a GREATER SPRINGBOK team??....DIE ROI MASJIEN !!!.. I think that is correct :)

      Nico - 2012-01-25 14:47

      Hi Julian, the sad truth about the Lions is that although they are from the biggest city, they also had the most politics in the boardroom under the previous management. At the inception of Super Rugby, when it was still the Super 8 (way way way back, the Lions actually won it), then came the regional teams and the Lions had to play with the Cheetahs, that NEVER worked! At the same time uncle Louis was ousted by glory boys that were more interested in themselves than the union. Only now that we have a new management can we become a power in the country again, and are we able to keep on to our players. Just have a look at the number of quality players we lost of the last number of years and think what could have been if we had a competent administration. Warning to other unions though, no matter your players, your adminstration can kill any team!!

      Lionel - 2012-01-25 14:52

      @Nico,you are correct,whats happening in the WP boardroom at present is very worrying,just hope it does not spill onto the playing fields!!!!!!!!!!!

      Nico - 2012-01-25 15:19

      @Julian, I think all clubs should be run by either die-hard supporters or ex-legends that played for that union. Just have a look at the difference that an ex-Lions legend made for us. And yes, I share your frustration, though I don't have much hope that it won't spill onto the field, look at the quality players you are already loosing.

  • legndkilla - 2012-01-25 14:07

    @malcolm, strange that you would mention that cos even if we stormers supporters lose we still on news24 the very next day taking the comments and jeers as they come unfortunately the same cant be said for the bulls supporters, statement for 2011"pretoria is going to be overcrowded after all the bulls supporters are coming back down to earth"

      Lionel - 2012-01-25 14:19

      That my friend is so true!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      malcolm.molver - 2012-01-25 14:56

      Got to agree with you on that. The silence is deafening after the Bulls lose!

  • Renier - 2012-01-25 14:53

    Ek sal ook vir 22mil eerder NIE vir die WP speel nie...

  • Hallo - 2012-01-25 16:55

    Move to the new stadium you idiots

      Tom - 2012-01-30 14:47

      The Southern Kings got it right to play in super rugby and we can only play 4 teams ... already playing so there has to be a team to go I guess the Lions will be the team to make way for the Southern Kings

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