Div: Too late for Bismarck

2010-08-31 22:36

Hendrik Cronjé

Bloemfontein – Hooker Bismarck du Plessis will only know after the Springboks’ tour to Europe at the end of this year where exactly he ranks in respect of the national selectors.

Coach Peter de Villiers said that there was no truth in Du Plessis being third in the pecking order following the neck operation that effectively ruled him out of the Tri-Nations.

“If we look back scrumhalf Fourie du Preez was once in a similar position to the one Bismarck finds himself in now. He (Du Preez) only played about three games for the Blue Bulls while we played in the Tri-Nations,” said De Villiers.

“I think it’s just a little too late to bring in Bismarck. He needs game time and it won’t help our cause to give him 30 or 40 minutes at a time.

“We will enter a conditioning phase after Saturday’s match (against the Wallabies). It’s just good to keep him on the field, give him the 80 minutes that he needs and then condition him with the rest of the team as part of a unit. We will then re-examine the situation at the end of the year.”

One could gauge from this week’s press conferences at Shimla Park that the Bok captain and De Villiers’ current first-choice hooker, John Smit, will be rested at the end of the year.

This could see Du Plessis and Chiliboy Ralepelle tour together as the two hookers.

“We are blessed to have three such top quality hookers (Du Plessis, Smit and Ralepelle),” said De Villiers.

“The same applies to Beast (Tendai Mtawarira) at loosehead prop. Gurthrö (Steenkamp), who is playing wonderful rugby, struggled last year to keep Beast out of the side. The reverse is now true.”

The Bok coach confirmed that Mtawarira is part of his future plans with Du Plessis.

However, he also believes they need to play regularly for the Sharks in the Currie Cup.

It is still uncertain what De Villiers is planning for Du Plessis going ahead. He is one of the best hookers in the world when he is at his best.

Last year the Bok coach moved Smit to tighthead prop to accommodate Du Plessis’ strength, fiery play and scrumming ability. However, it’s uncertain whether the same route will be followed.

It is also likely that Mtawarira will be a Bok again come the end of the year.


  • rugbyfan - 2010-09-01 00:14

    I wish Div could see the crap that he talks. Bismarck is head and shoulders above any hooker in this country. He is already playing the same quality rugby that made him the best hooker last year. Div must think we're all as stupid as he is.

  • mike - 2010-09-01 01:17

    We are blessed to have 3 such talented hookers, lol, we actually have about 5 or 6 but Chilliboy isn't one of them Div.

  • Sean - 2010-09-01 02:03

    Bismarck, Smit and Beast. That was a good front row for us and I dont see any reason why we should revert back to the pack that made us successful last season!

  • Chris - 2010-09-01 05:09

    Good news for the Sharks and the players. It's such a crap year it's worth sitting out and starting again with RWC in the home straight. The year end tour might pleasantly suprise us with a new Capt and fresh faces.

  • mysticBoer - 2010-09-01 05:59

    Ja Div jou nar! En Chilliboy het natuurlik BAAAAAAIE gametime gehad deur die jaar né?

  • Eddie - 2010-09-01 06:25

    I have a lot of respect for John Smit, both as player and leader. I also believe that Bismarck is arguably the best hooker in the world and I therefore understand the need for caution regarding his reintroduction into international rugby. What I do not understand is why Div persisits with Chiliboy Ralepele as his backup hooker. He is the Bull's number three hooker and has not set the international stage alight. As good a player as he may be, there are clearly better hookers playing as first choice selections in the various franchises. What message does Div expect us to get from his selection of Chiliboy?

  • Tin Tin - 2010-09-01 06:32

    This is a joke. John Smit is useless and if you disagree, you have never seen him live on a rugbyfield: He walks from set piece to set piece and from time to time an opposing player might bump into him, and to make it worse the media and coaches tell us what great player he is and how great his contribution is. Please stop the bullshit. Just watch Bismark and you'll see that the difference is rediculous. John, please resign.

  • TP - 2010-09-01 06:40

    JOHN SMIT PLEASE RETIRE AFTER SATURDAY. All that knows rugby and see what hookers must do in the modern game, know that your time to depart has come. Go out while you are on top as it will be a sad day to think of you as the player that cost us the WC. There are plenty of good hookers

  • alwyn - 2010-09-01 06:53

    Bismarck is die beste haker in die wereld hy moet speel.As dit Ralepelle was dan was hy alreeds in die span.Ons rugby stink van rassisme.

  • Gert - 2010-09-01 06:58

    Quota;quota;quota players like Chilliboy hold back the future of the Bok team.Find another black player to make up numbers,but PLEASE Div,to say that Bismark is not automatically the next choice hooker is absurd,short-sighted,immature and quite frankly dumb!!!

  • Hannetjie - 2010-09-01 07:22

    Both Bismarck and the Beast deserve to be in the Bok squad if they are fit and had some game time. Div should not speculate now but wllow them to prove themselves.

  • G - 2010-09-01 07:37

    Now here is an awesome player.......he needs to be included in the Boks for us to stand any chance in the 2011 World Cup...Bismarck will be a huge advantage to the Boks

  • blou bul - 2010-09-01 07:50

    Is this guy for real?????? Hell but ol' snorre really has no clue about rugby. Bismarck is 200000% better than dikgat smit!!!

  • bad coach - 2010-09-01 07:55

    Any coach who doesnt select Bismark du Plessis, a BAD coach...

  • Zullie - 2010-09-01 08:09

    Ha Ha Ha - more journalist guess work - Hendrik Cronje, I believe you are just guessing. On recent showing, Bismarck is way ahead of any hooker in SA, including John Smit and should be the first choice for the UK tour. I feel very sorry for John Smit PDV should be shot - he made John Smit beef up to play prop and this may have taken a yard or two off his game. I believe he will work hard and get this back before the world cup - the conditioning programme will do him the world of good - I hope they at last start listening to Tim Noakes. Go Bokke.

  • Makutu - 2010-09-01 08:11

    Oh... Bismack needs game time but JP Pietersen doesn't need game time? If my memory serves me right, JP Pieterssen was injured for longer than Bismack. If it's a little too late for Bismack, thenn that means that it is definitely late for Heinrich Brussouw... Coach, you are talking absolute Bullcrap. Dannie Russow made his Springbok debut in the 2003 World Cup. I think Dan Carter also only started to play properly in the 2003 World Cup... These theories that the coach is talking about, I'd like to know their source. "Experience" is overrated! Less experienced players seem to contribute more to team success than these so-caled experienced players. How experienced is Francois Hougarrd? LOL!

  • Oupa - 2010-09-01 08:13

    What about the form of Bryan Habana and John Smit? Doesn't Bjorn Basson, Lwazi Mvoo or Gehard van den Heever score more tries than Habana? If the Beast Steenkamp claim stands...! DOUBLE STANDARDS here... Sheer hypocrisy from this freakin coach.

  • Jock Nel - 2010-09-01 08:14

    Play Bismarck at scrum half if you need to since quality of that kind cannot be left out. "He needs game time",what a joke, Div obviously did not see the Sharks games.Pick him firsty and then the rest of the team.

  • henk - 2010-09-01 08:26

    for your information div, bismarck is in his current condition 150% fitter and better than smit. stop your arrogant teacher attitude, you cant fool adults as you fooled your learners. we are NOT children.

  • Deon - 2010-09-01 08:26

    P Div = poephol. This guy is the biggest political tool ever. Everyone knows Bismarck is out best hooker and everyone knows Chilly Boy is a political pawn.

  • Mark - 2010-09-01 08:27

    Bismarck is the biscuit. I would rather see him in the team than grandpa or token player. I mean chilliboy has not talent at all.

  • Amelam - 2010-09-01 08:31

    Bismarck is streets ahead of Smit and Ralepelle and so is Tiaan Liebenberg of WP. If PdeV cannot see this, he should step down. Don't ever forget that he gave a guy named Earl Rose Springok colours!

  • Abe - 2010-09-01 08:39

    Bismark > Chilliboy

  • Werner - 2010-09-01 08:39

    Game time. And Chilli is the Blue Bulls 3 rd hooker . So much for that thought.

  • Werner - 2010-09-01 08:40

    Game time. And Chilli is the Blue Bulls 3 rd hooker . So much for that thought.

  • Maakmy - 2010-09-01 08:42

    Bismarck has talent, no doubt. Bismarck however is RED card just waiting for place to happen. We all know that Chilliboy is being groomed to be the next Springbok captain so why all the speculation.

  • Dragonpig - 2010-09-01 08:45

    "3 such top hookers" yeah, another gem from the fool We have Bismarck who is the best, John Smit who has been abused and needs time off and conditioning to get back to his best, then we have Chilliboy who funny enough has not had much game time, remember he sat bench for the bulls, played some vodacom cup games, played as their third option. Nice double standards being set here,

  • Suurpoep - 2010-09-01 08:51

    Bismarck is the best hooker in the world now. He is a must for any Springbok team...!!!!!!!!!!

  • Tjoppie - 2010-09-01 08:54

    Al daai vrot Bolandse wyn het hierdie ou se kop vreeslik aangetas. Bismarck hoe kan jy sulke k@k opeet?

  • terry - 2010-09-01 09:01

    Div - you have to be the only person in the galaxy who thinks that Chilliboy is a better hooker than Bismark. Chilliboy probably has about 30 or so Springbok caps, but he probably has only about 100 minutes of actual playing time in a bok jersey. One day, John Smit is going to get injured in the first 5 minutes of a game, and Chilliboy will then have to play 75 minutes - then you will realise your folly.

  • Plan B - 2010-09-01 09:07

    How about moving Smit to 1 to accommodate Bissy? Just a thought because Smit sure as hell can't scrum at 3! But seriously I've given up trying to understand the Clown and his selections... what a joke... SARU get your house in order and bring back Jake White or get Heyneke Meyer!

  • Bob - 2010-09-01 09:07

    Why Chillboy at hooker he is still useless he need club rugby experience and get picked on merit instead of quota . Remove Smith and replace with Cheetas or hooker or Bismark or Gary Botha. Also get rid of DeVilliers who wasnt wanted overseas and Pietersen. Replace these with strong youth ready for the world cup. Matfield is also at his sell by date.

  • Raj - 2010-09-01 09:09

    Boere please get over your prejudice...and learn to read english. The coach is not saying Bismarck is finished- he is saying that he needs time to recoup and he wants him to be fully fit or run the risk of injury again. So what is wrong with that- or is it win at the cost of a players career.....

  • THE MAN - 2010-09-01 09:10

    no we will not accept this du plessis guy...its the chilliboy show now he will be the captain for sure and come the european tour his performances will cement his starting place in the team and john smith can get thrown to the wolves for dinner

  • Adriaan S - 2010-09-01 09:10

    Any international coach would choose Bismarack as their nr.1, the All Blacks too. like usuall we ignore our best players...making escuses.

  • Nick Armstrong - 2010-09-01 09:12

    “We are blessed to have three such top quality hookers (Du Plessis, Smit and Ralepelle),” said De Villiers. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha! I have 3 words for this: Quota, quota, quota. Ralepelle cannot be mentioned in the same breath as Bismarck and John. For that matter - so is Adriaan Strauss; Tiaan Liebenberg; Gary Botha; Richardt Strauss and Schalk Britz all much, MUCH better than Ralepelle. So, too, for that matter - is Bandise Maku. Ralepelle is simply a quota player - the minimum mandatory black player in the match 22. By selecting a player so far off the quality of others in his position - it actually embarrasses the ideals of transformation - and every player of colour selected (many worthy of their selection on merit only) - is then questioned, or viewed with suspicion, by the broader rugby world. And while we have pathetic quotas enforced - I say justifiably so. No-one - not here in SA - nor anywhere in the sporting world - is a player respected and acknowledged by his peers, and the fans following the sport - when he/she is selected as a quota player, or for any reason other than merit. Ralepelle will always be seen across the rugby world - as a joke. "He doesn't deserve to be there, but we all know why - hush-hush, wink-wink"... And this sad state of affairs is brought about by our own selectors and selection policies.

  • Bob - 2010-09-01 09:17

    We achieved nothing !! Comprehensively thrashed by the All Blacks who pick their side on merit. The margins are huge and we seem to think that if we beat them by one point that its a victory worth shouting about, and thats usually at home. Away we are thrashed repeatedly by large margins. Our players live and are treated like idols yet are not fit enough and able hold a rugby ball or candle to the All Blacks. I wish the opposite were true.

  • deon - 2010-09-01 09:19

    Smit is not even good enough for the Sharks, regardless which position. Smit, you have been the best Bok captain since Teichmann, you have done your thing, but it is time to go.

  • Jaz @ Tin Tin - 2010-09-01 09:26

    Bismarck has the potential to become the best No2 in the world, however with ball in hand, he plays like an idiot. Every time he touches the ball he looks for the closest guy he can run into. This consistently kills the Sharks' quick passages. He also carries the ball way to upright. Even "traditional" Bok/Bulls type players, like Danie Rossouw, Flip van der Merwe and Juan Smith have adapted and learned to run the lines into gaps and try to get hands through for the off load. Quick play in the modern game is key and unfortunately you need but one player to ruin it for the team.

  • Theo - 2010-09-01 09:27

    Opposition teams handle Smit with kids gloves they know come world Cup he is an asset to them as a decoy to their advantage on the field

  • Pea Brain alias PDiv - 2010-09-01 09:28

    You are the laughing stock of the entire rugby Fraternity!!!Please drop-dead so that we can rid ourselves of your stupidity!! Does SARU not realise that this imbecile is a liability to hits Brand???We've had enough of his pathetic drivel-absolute crap!!! COME ON BOK SUPPORTERS-BAND TOGETHER AND BOYCOTT/STRIKE/TOYI TOYI or something to get rid of this idiot!!!

  • Voice - 2010-09-01 09:29

    Maybe we should stop referring Chlliboy as a political pawn and perhaps just consider that he sits in the middle of this crap. Chilli is not the greatest hooker but if one looks at the things he did on Sat, it is easy to see that he did his bit and put his hand up. That being said and done, lets talk rugby and keep our one sided jaundice eyed personal comments out of the blog. Bismarck is not so clever but he can pick up very heavy things and will always give away a penalty or 2 or even a card or 2. Tiaan Liebenberg is a much better option as he is a great running hooker - but then again we had Schalk Brits as well.Lets support these boys no matter what happens - we will be supprised

  • bad coach - 2010-09-01 09:30

    PDV = AA = bad coach = AA = bad coach = AA = bad coach

  • spindoc - 2010-09-01 09:31

    ..we all know PDivvy is challenged when confronted with intelligent for the benefit of the press let me interpret what he actually said...“We are blessed to have three such top quality hookers (Du Plessis, Liebenberg and Botha)....don't you just hate it when you have typo errors!!!!!!

  • Wally - 2010-09-01 09:33

    What about Gerrie Britz? He is much better a hooker and player than Chilli.

  • Jaco ISO - 2010-09-01 09:45

    Gary Botha Gary Botha Gary Botha Gary Botha Gary Botha Gary Botha Gary Botha Gary Botha Gary Botha Gary Botha Gary Botha Gary Botha Gary Botha Gary Botha Gary Botha Gary Botha Gary Botha Gary Botha Gary Botha Gary Botha Gary Botha Gary Botha

  • Proud Bok - 2010-09-01 10:07

    @Wally - Gerrie Britz would lift both props next to him off their feet if he were to anchor the scrum! I assume you are referring to Schalk Brits!?

  • zacky - 2010-09-01 10:17

    Pse explain to me why Chilli Boy sits on the bench for the Bulls ?? According to Snor's comments he should tyhen be a better hooker than Gary Botha - or is it Frans Ludeke who has it wrong ?

  • chappy - 2010-09-01 10:28

    Bizmark needs game time? Should the same not apply to Frans Steyn and Butch, but especilly for January and Chilliboy as the got no game time during the super 14 while warming the bench. If the government wants a coach of colour bring in Allistar Coetzee, who will in turn bring in Jake, Nienaber, Gert Smal and the likes.

  • @ Nick Armstrong - 2010-09-01 10:38

    Spot On !!! You are however far too diplomatic about the issue!!! We'll never field a side solely on merit,therefore resign yourself to the fact that we are a second team/third???Considering all these enforced handicaps we're actuallty not that crap!!! From the competition point of view,the other sides should feel disgruntled as they can never claim to have beaten/played against the best the Boks have to offer.Merit and merit only are a sportsmans ethos-only in SA rugby is that not acceptable.