‘Warrick Gelant has it all’

Four former Springboks on which youngsters they've been most impressed with so far in this year's Currie Cup competition.

Adriaan Richter (former Bok No 8)

'I've been mightily impressed by the Blue Bulls' Warrick Gelant, Tian Schoeman and Marvin Orie. It's just so refreshing to watch Gelant in action, he is a classy player. Schoeman is putting up his hand in the absence of Handré Pollard, who will have to work hard to win back that No 10 jersey. Overall, the Bulls, Golden Lions and Pumas have all exceeded expectations so far in the competition. It's still early days, but those are the three best sides to watch.'

Braam van Straaten (former Bok flyhalf)

'Dries Swanepoel looks the part at outside centre for the Bulls. He played with Jan Serfontein for Grey College, but his progress was stifled when he picked up a long-term injury early on in his career. It's good to see him back and doing well. There are a number of others, but Bulls fullback Warrick Gelant is the most impressive of the lot. I've known him for a couple of years and worked with him when he played schools rugby for Hoërskool Outeniqua. He is going places and I wouldn't bet against him playing for the Springboks one day. More established players like Kwagga Smith, Marnitz Boshoff, Francois Hougaard and Faf de Klerk are all getting back to their best and that for me underlines the value of the Currie Cup.'

Rob Louw (former Bok flank)

'The Blue Bulls are playing proper rugby again, which is nice to see. Their fullback Warrick Gelant was brilliant at age-group level, in the Varsity Cup and going on his performances in the five rounds we've had so far, he is equally at home in the Currie Cup. Francois Hougaard is also back to his level best. We knew Fred Zeilinga was very talented, but he is finally coming into his own under the guidance of Franco Smith at Free State, which is pleasing. At the Lions, Malcolm Marx and Kwagga Smith have been exceptional. It's been disappointing to watch Western Province, but that might change as the competition progresses. There is just no new exciting talent coming through.'

Pieter Hendriks (former Bok wing)

'Players that caught my eye, are the Bulls back three Warrick Gelant, Jamba Ulengo and Travis Ismaiel as well as their teammate, loosehead prop Pierre Schoeman. Out of all the backs in the competition this year, those three have shown the most promise and initiative. Gelant has it all. He is lethal on attack, defiant in defence and kicks well. I haven't seen much of Schoeman yet, but from the few minutes I watched him, he did well in the scrums and carried strongly. With that physique, he'll be the first-choice loosehead prop real soon.' 

Photo: Johan Rynners/Gallo Images

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Mariette Adams