January 31, 2012 in Uncategorized
Springbok and Sharks Loose head Prop Beast Mtawarira suffered a serious injury durring pre season training with the Sharks, an apparent cracked fibia bone in his right ankle will keep him on the sidelines for an estimated 3 months.
My rough calculations have him back in action by the start of may. we start our international season against England on the 9th of June, the Springbok squad for this three match series will get together a week prior to the first game, Beast will return having played no competitive rugby in more than 6 months – Match fitness the obvious issue. Should Beast recover in this three month period he will have 4 Super 15 matches to get back to acceptable match fitness,(the first of these matches may well be from the bench) should his recovery take longer than the three months, we might well find ourselves in a position where(having Beast’s best interest at heart) He’ll miss the England tour to SA, or at least the first match.
Having said that, I think it’s safe to assume, just to be safe, we’ll have to think about other options for the Springbok Loosehead position. I’ll name all the options I think National Management should consider and why. – Being proactive rather than Reactive
- As many of you already know, I’m a uge Coenie fan, I feel he was somewhat unlucky last year, not getting any game time in the Green and Gold, I think his relatively new found Tight head ability, as average as it maybe, is just another quality that cements his place at the top of the talented prop pile. I think another strong season of Super rugby should be enough to convince most (unfortunately not all) that Coenie is a must for the Springbok jersey, Gurthro’s departure has left a gap for a prop on the bench(when Beast is back to full fitness), and Coenie would be the ideal impact player. I’m have no idea what Meyer’s viewson Coenie is though.
- Dean was included in the second string team that faced NZ and Austalia away in last year’s Tri Nations, and he did quite well, I like his style, a good ball carrier, solid at scrum time, and being a Bulls player, Meyer will no doubt have a good idea of what Greyling’s capabnilities are, and that may just make him the favourite to backup Beast, he’s however unable to play tighthead, and one can only assume that unless a versatile prop is selected in the number 17 jersey on the Bok bench, a tight head prop will be selected. So although Dean may well be second in line, I’m not convinced we’ll see two loose heads in our match day 22 too often.
- I’ll start off by stating, I’m not in favour of bringing back players who have moved overseas to finish their careers. I’m not sure if Gurthro is retired, but even if it isn’t official, he won’t be at the next world Cup, bringing him back ahead of the options we have in SA would be a bit of a “klap in die gesig”. But, if Beast wasn’t fit in time, it would make sense bringing in an experienced option, in order to limit the disruption.
4.Marcel van der Merwe(Cheetahs)
- Marcel van der Merwe is no doubt at the wrong union, in a frontrow already containing Coenie and WP Nel, this young , powerful explosive loose head is a sure future great, at any other union(taking into account Beast is injured), it would’ve been very tough for the management not to start him. This will be his first full Super rugby season, and I’m excited to see how he’ll do. I think he’s a real option for the Springbok jersey, perhaps inexperience couonts against him, but he would certainly be in my EOY squad. therefor should Beast fail to recover, Meyer’s personal preference might just see Marcel getting a call-up.
- Kitshoff is another youngster who is to a certain extent untested at SR level, this will also be his first full season. but in his case, after some strong performances in the warm-ups, he seems to be the first choice Loose head at the Stormers, which will go a long way in helping him establish himself as a serious contender for that Bok Loose head position. I wouldn’t consider him at this stage, but after a strong “half season” , he might just have put his hand up. The Stormers’ scrum still seems to struggle and if this continues, Kitshoff might be labellled a weak scrummager, something that’ll seriously dent his dreams of oneday playing for the Springboks.
I know all the Shark supporters will be hoping that Beast will be back at the start of May, but I wouldn’t mind seeing some of the younger usual fringe players get an opportunity to impress in a Springbok jersey.