Coaches Naka Drotske and Hawies Fourie, seem to be pretty clear of who they envisage in their final Super Rugby squad for 2013. Griquas players Justin Downey, Leon Karemaker, Steph Roberts, Edwin Hewitt, Marnus Hugo and Jean Stemmet have been released to Griquas to prepare for the Vodacom Cup.
It is speculated, that the possible return of Juan Smith may have been the primary motivation as Phillip van der Walt, Heinrich Brüssow, Lappies Labuschagne, Juan Smith, and Boom Prinsloo all have still to prove their fitness. This could indicate that Juan’s progress is in line with the coaches’ expectations.
In years past, this was a position the Cheetahs could make their team selections with their eyes closed. With legends like Juan Smith in particular, giving yeoman service.
Long term injuries and player movements has temporarily thrown the proverbial spanner in the works, resulting in Naka having to recall Hendro Scholtz out of retirement to have a fit flanker in the 2012 Currie Cup.
However the emergence of a few young stars has restored order. Marnus Schoeman has started delivering on the hype anticipated when he was still a junior with the Blue Bulls. Lappies Labuschagne and Justin Downey have grown in their positions, which leaves Naka Drotske spoilt for choice.
This edition looks at the selection of loose forwards. One area where the Boks, and in particular the Cheetahs have been strong.
This one is lengthy, as a few players have announced themselves during the injury crisis last year. No doubt there will be hot debate, but what is sure is that the Cheetahs have options aplenty, and may just have the most balanced and exciting backrow in SA, and will be one of the best in the tournament!
Let’s hope in the interests of Cheetahs and Bok rugby, that Juan, and Ratel will stay relatively injury free in 2012.
The absence of information will always lead to speculation, and whether it is fair or not, you would think that the Lions Rugby Union would have realised this after years of accusations of financial and administrative mismanagement.