After the highs of 2019, there will be a new focus on different challenges in 2020. ANDRE HUISAMEN picks out five things he’d like to see.
- Jantjies will play a massive role in captaining the Lions in the absence of Warren Whiteley. He will also be pivotal in taking up a more senior role in the Springbok squad, if selected, to set a higher benchmark for the younger flyhalves in the country. With Handre Pollard now playing his rugby abroad, Jantjies should take responsibility as the senior flyhallf in the country with his performances for the Lions. He should ultimately lead the competition among the flyhalves to get the best out of them.
Damian Willemse to set the example:
- The growth of Willemse is exactly why the role of Jantjies will be so important. The talented 21-year-old will be the Stormers’ first choice flyhalf this year and will have a big role to play in John Dobson’s success as coach. After missing out on a great deal of Vodacom Super Rugby last year, Willemse will look to kick on with his bright start to his career and further his development at flyhalf. Hoping he stays injury free, he could become a great flyhalf option for the Boks as well.
Marco van Staden the specialist fetcher:
- Following Francois Louw’s retirement, Van Staden will be the Boks’ best bet of having a specialist fetcher in the team. He could form part of a renewed ‘bomb squad’ system, making an impact from the bench and bringing consistency to the Vodacom Bulls pack. Injuries halted his time in the Bok camp last year but he was very impressive in 2018 when he made his debut against England.
New No 8 to succeed Vermeulen:
- South African rugby will need to see a new No 8 make a statement and standout in the position in 2020 in order to find a future replacement for Duane Vermeulen. Local players like Juarno Augustus, Marnus Schoeman and Muller Uys will be worth having a look at, while Dan du Preez has also been performing really well for Sale Sharks lately. It will be an extremely important aspect for Rassie Erasmus and the new Springbok coach to have a close look at with the British and Irish Lions tour approaching.
Curwin Bosch to find form again:
- Bosch is set to re-establish himself at flyhalf for this Super Rugby campaign. The Sharks have some big names in their backline and Bosch could be the key player to get them ticking. A confident and inform Bosch will also be able to add value to a Bok squad, because he can operate at fullback as well. His performance for the Barbarians against Wales towards the end of last year showed he has plenty of talent to offer South African rugby.
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