In the latest addition to our new series, DYLAN JACK identifies tireless loose forward Kabamba Floors as one of the most underrated Springboks.
My selections for this series have had a certain theme to them – picking players who were far more appreciated at franchise level than at Test level.
Floors certainly falls into that category as he made over 200 appearances at domestic level, starred on the sevens scene for the Blitzboks, but earned just one Test cap for the Springboks in 2006.
That cap came against England at Twickenham, where the Boks ended a seven-game losing streak to their old rivals, thanks to a 25-14 victory. Floors was called up only because of injuries to the squad, but starred against far more experienced opponents with Joe Worsley and Martin Corry both starting in England’s back row.
2006 would be a memorable year for Floors as he was named Currie Cup Player of the Year after helping the Cheetahs beat the Vodacom Bulls in the final, where he was named Man of the Match.
Widely regarded for his pace and skill, Floors had a stunning domestic debut season in 2003, where he scored 14 tries for the SWD Eagles in the Currie Cup (18 in all competitions), back then a record for the team.
His efforts would earn him a call-up to the Blitzboks squad in that same year and he would go on to captain the Springboks Sevens side in 2006.
However, Floors was more than just a flash player. While he always had an eye for the tryline, he had no qualms about putting in the hard yards and making some big tackles along the way.
His size, again, may have counted against him on the Test scene, where 100kg-plus behemoths were obviously favoured. Floors was very much a predecessor to a player like Kwagga Smith, who has also demonstrated that he is more than his frame suggests.
However, given his versatility and rugby brain – something demonstrated by his foray into coaching through the club rugby and university system – he did have something to offer the Springboks, if he had the trust of the coaching staff.
As it is, Floors will remain a Cheetahs icon, having spent the majority of his career in the Free State before returning to the Eagles where he hung up his boots in 2014.
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