The versatile Sanele Nohamba has seized the opportunity for SA flyhalves to jockey for the Springbok No 10 jersey over the next four-year cycle, writes MARK KEOHANE.
Writing for TimesLIVE, Keohane discusses Nohamba’s outstanding performances for the Lions in the Vodacom URC, where the 24-year-old has taken on the challenge set by Bok coach Rassie Erasmus.
Erasmus’ focus is on building depth at flyhalf for the 2027 World Cup, and Keohane reckons that it’s Nohamba who leads the charge, showcasing versatility by excelling at scrumhalf too.
Keohane believes Nohamba’s adaptability will play a significant role as Erasmus experiments with different combinations in future.
“Erasmus identified flyhalf as one of the areas he would focus on for the 2027 World Cup in Australia. He has challenged every No 10 in South Africa to have a crack,” Keohane writes. “Nohamba has on-field presence and he owns his space, be it wearing No 9 or No 10.
“He was comfortable against Ulster in Belfast on Friday evening, good off the kicking tee and creative in setting up the Lions opening try with a cross-kick for right winger Richard Kriel.
“Nohamba has been a shining light in a Lions tournament opening month that, with a bit of good fortune, could have been spectacular.”
Despite mixed results for the Lions so far this season, Keohane argues that the former Junior Springbok playmaker has proven himself both influential and creative since joining The Pride from the Sharks in 2022.
He also emphasises Erasmus’ investment in versatile players, and highlights Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu in the battle for the Bok pivot role over the coming years.
“Double World Cup winner Handre Pollard is 29 years-old and 2023 World Cup winner Manie Libbok is 26 years old, so, if fit, they will be in Australia in 2027,” Keohane writes.
“The battle over the next four years is who joins them and provides cover at No 10 and who can kick for posts. Right now Nohamba and Feinberg-Mngomezulu are the headline acts.”
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