Springbok fullback Johan Goosen is on the cover of the new SA Rugby magazine, on sale this week.
It was a muggy morning on the lowveld, and several journalists had gathered on the outer fields of the Mbombela Stadium. As the Springboks concluded their training session, Johan Goosen walked toward the media scrum. Suddenly, the pressmen sprang to life. This was the man they had all come to see.
'How do you feel about playing for the Boks after nearly two years in the international wilderness?' asked one scribe. 'Does it require a mental shift after competing at club level for so long?' demanded another.
Goosen's response was bland, inoffensive, and devoid of all passion. 'That went well,' one journo joked, as the poker-faced Goosen trudged off in the direction of the team bus.
Four days later in the Rugby Championship Test against Argentina, Goosen delivered a more colourful and meaningful answer to these questions. Tears streamed down Goosen's face during the South African national anthem. Over the next 80 minutes, the fullback delivered a potent attacking performance that culminated in a crucial try in the 71st minute. The prodigal son had marked his return to South African rugby in emphatic fashion.
In this issue of SA Rugby magazine, chief rugby writer Jon Cardinelli looks at why Goosen was brought back into the Bok mix, and where he should be used in future. Bok greats André Joubert and Breyton Paulse also offer their views on this special player.
According to SARugbymag.co.za's Opta-powered stats, Goosen has been South Africa's best attacking player as far as clean breaks (five) and metres made (226) is concerned.
Also in the new issue:
– Bok utility back Jesse Kriel talks about contributing at outside centre and fullback, and why he needs to settle on one position in future
– The performances of Malcolm Marx in the recent Super Rugby tournament earned the hooker a deserved call-up to the Bok squad
– Pieter-Steph du Toit has lifted his game in 2016 while playing for a struggling Bok side
– Hurricanes openside flank Ardie Savea is proving an outstanding alternative to All Blacks No 7 Sam Cane
– The Blitzboks bounced back from a disappointing semi-final loss to secure an Olympic bronze medal
– Rugby reached a new audience at the Olympics in Rio
– Sharks utility back Curwin Bosch wants to play 100 Tests for the Boks
SA RUGBY MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION RATE
– Available monthly to Foschini Group account holders for R26.99 (incl VAT) per issue
– Non-Foschini Group account holders (12 issues): R359 (incl VAT), Neighbouring states: R620; International: R820
SA RUGBY MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION ENQUIRIES
– Foschini Group account holders: Phone 0860-117-529, email [email protected], or SMS ‘SARUGBY’ and your account number to 44001
– Non-Foschini Group account holders: Phone (021) 416-0141, fax 086-567-1350, or email: [email protected]