Schalk Burger is the seven-time defending Hit King for his tackle on Fourie du Preez, but can he keep his place against Manu Tuilagi?
Burger has fended off all of Courtney Lawes, Bismarck du Plessis, Brian Lima, Bakkies Botha twice, Henry Tuilagi and Willem Alberts to keep his title for rugby’s biggest hit. Last week, Burger was once again the overwhelming favourite over former Springbok teammate Botha.
However, Burger will now have to again defend his title against another one of the Tuilagi clan.
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In a Premiership match between Harlequins and Sale Sharks in February, Tuilagi announced his return to rugby from injury in emphatic style. The England centre came off the bench for the final 30 minutes of the match and one of his first actions was to flatten opposite number and Springbok centre Andre Esterhuizen in a massive tackle in midfield. Despite having a 10-metre run-up, Esterhuizen was stopped in his tracks and brought crashing to the ground by Tuilagi. Sale Sharks would go on to win the match 36-14 against the defending champions.
Great to see @fafdeklerk back in action! 🔥
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) February 8, 2022
— Dickie (@SardieqWP) February 6, 2022
Western Province hosted the Blue Bulls in the 2009 Currie Cup semi-final and Schalk Burger obliterated Springbok teammate Fourie du Preez with a hit that brought the Newlands faithful to their feet.
Photo: PATRICK KHACHFE/JMP/SHUTTERSTOCK