Deon Fourie is poised to write the next chapter of his incredible journey when he starts at hooker for the Springboks against Tonga on Sunday, according to MARK KEOHANE.
With Malcolm Marx ruled out due to injury, and Bongi Mbonambi rested, the nine-Test Fourie will wear the Bok No 2 jersey for the first time in South Africa’s final World Cup Pool B clash this weekend.
After leaving the Republic for France in 2014, ‘Brannas’ returned home via Grenoble and Lyon two years ago, and his performances for the DHL Stormers in the Vodacom URC earned him a first Test call-up and made him the oldest Bok debutant at the age of 36.
Writing for TimesLIVE, Keohane hails the versatile Fourie’s value, after the Bok coaches opted for only two specialist hookers in the initial World Cup squad, and replaced Marx with flyhalf Handre Pollard due to concerns about goal-kicking consistency.
Keohane argues that Fourie can stake his claim ahead of fellow makeshift rake, Marco van Staden, with a strong outing against Tonga, while also emphasising the importance of the title-holders maintaining a clean bill of health as they progress in the tournament.
“Specialist hookers in South Africa have been deemed secondary to the bigger World Cup cause and while there is obvious adversity in Marx’s absence, there is only opportunity for Fourie,” Keohane writes.
“If he nails it against Tonga, he will find himself playing in a World Cup playoff in France, the country in which he initially found peace with his rugby and his life decisions.
“What a storyline and what a rugby romance. This Test is about the statement performance of a handful of players, none more so than Fourie.”
Photo: Christophe Archambault/AFP