Bulls scrumhalf Francois Hougaard needs to make concrete decisions immediately or risk watching a career of incredible promise die a slow death.
In the latest issue of SA Rugby magazine, on sale today, senior sports writer Ryan Vrede looks at the criticism that came Hougaard's way after the Bulls' opening Super Rugby match of the season against the Sharks.
'He is being widely spoken of as a bad player,' writes Vrede. 'This couldn’t be further from the truth. He is an exceptional player in the midst of a struggle, one he has contributed to, certainly, but not solely responsible for.'
Fourie du Preez tells SA Rugby magazine that the Bulls are not letting Hougaard play according to his strengths.
'Watching him for the Bulls you can see that they’re trying to push a square peg into a round hole,' says Du Preez, before elaborating on what makes him and Hougaard such different scrumhalves.
Vrede then looks at where Hougaard should be playing – scrumhalf or wing – and reveals where Heyneke Meyer plans to use him for the Boks this year.
Also in the new issue:
– Ryan Kankowski is enjoying the new Sharks environment
– Marnitz Boshoff helped the Lions make a triumphant return to Super Rugby
– Coenie Oosthuizen now has the ability to influence a game with ball in hand and up front
– Argentina lock Manuel Carizza could prove to be an important signing for the Stormers
– The Sharks squad shows that transformation is taking place in South African rugby
– Former Proteas and Australia cricket coach Mickey Arthur is hoping to lure talented young South Africans to the Western Force
– South African flank Bernard le Roux is committed to the French cause
– How Tommy Allan, the nephew of former Springbok hooker John, ended up playing Test rugby for Italy
– Ireland forwards coach John Plumtree on how he got the job, the initial challenges his family faced, that loss to the All Blacks, their driving maul, and his future
– Captain Kyle Brown wants the Blitzboks to push hard for Cup honours in every Sevens World Series tournament
– NMMU have become serious Varsity Cup contenders following a three-year rebuilding period
– Our Saffas in France XV, based on players' form in February
– Former Springbok lock Johan Muller on why he's retiring from rugby at the end of this European season