Four Springboks have been included in Fox Sports Rugby’s list of the 25 most valuable and influential players for the 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby season.
Ahead of the 25th edition of the southern hemisphere’s premier club competition, Fox Sports Rugby correspondent Christy Doran compiled the 25-man list, with only four South Africans cracking the nod.
Doran explained that the criteria for selection does not take into consideration Test form, only the value of players in their respective Super Rugby sides and how crucial they are to their franchises.
The South Africans on the list are Sharks wing Makazole Mapimpi [23rd], Stormers captain Siya Kolisi [17th] and fellow loose forward Pieter-Steph du Toit [10th], as well as loosehead prop Steven Kitshoff [fifth].
Doran highlighted Mapimpi’s speed and footwork as his great assets, but also made mention of his consistent performances which has elevated his game to a new level.
‘Mapimpi is poised to kick on to spellbinding heights,’ wrote Doran. ‘Like a fine red wine, the Springboks winger continues to get better with age.’
Doran said that while Kolisi is not as destructive as other back rowers, his brilliant defence and inspirational leadership lift his fellow teammates.
The Australian scribe writes that 2019 World Rugby Player of the Year Du Toit ‘has one of the biggest engines on the planet’, adding that the tireless flank will come into his own towards the latter stages of the tournament.
Kitshoff is the only South African to be named in the top five of the list, with Doran commending him on his massive workload.
‘The prop gets through a mountain of work, he makes good metres over the gainline and averages an hour of work a match,’ writes Doran. ‘And you know what, no Super Rugby side succeeds without a dominant scrum and Kitshoff is one of the best in the business.’
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