Upon receiving news of the launch of the Kaizer Chiefs rugby team, my imagination ran away with me and painted a picture of how the starting 15 of Kaizer Chiefs Rugby club would look. I imagined how the team would look like if it was made up current (or past) professional soccer players.
In the loose-head and tight-head prop position, the Orlando Pirates duo of big Benni McCarthy and Collins “Beast” Mbesuma, would provide Amakhosi with the necessary kilos in the scrum. These two specialists have played as forwards for most of their careers and soccer fans have never shown appreciation for their bellies. Rugby fans, however, would be more accommodating.
In recent times, the Khosi faithful have been treated to some boring displays by their team. But fear not Makhosi, for Isaac “Shakes” Kungwane is ready and available to be called out of retirement and return to don the colours of Amakhosi yet again. This man has the ability to provide magical back flicks in the game, as many of the older generation will agree. “Shakes” can be a crucial player in the hooker position and provide back flicks in the scrums that unlike in during his football career, would now bring a smile out of even the grumpiest coach (unless his name is Johan Neeskens).
Kaizer Chiefs already has a lot of height in the ranks and the combination of Tefo “Bakkies”
Mashamaite and Eric “Tower” Mathoho (who reminds me of a young Victor Matfield) is a ready-made second row duo that can take on the best in South Africa. Eric will definitely be especially key in lineout play. I can already hear Benni shouting: Rise Khosi rise” as he picks “Tower” up in the lineout.
The dreadlocked duo of Lucky Baloyi and Lincoln Zvasiya will have to do for now in the flanker positions as even a team as rich as Chiefs needs to spend wisely with a limited budget. The signings of McCarthy and Mbesuma will take up most the transfer fee budget.
The 8th man: This guy stands at the back of the scrum with the ball typically going through his legs for the scrumhalf to use as he wishes. Due to the many shibobos that went through his legs last season, I feel that Willard Katsande would be the ideal man to fill that role in the rugby team. And his face looks, errm, quite intimidating.
At scrumhalf Chiefs will have their very own Ruan Pienaar. A scrumhalf who has the ability to kick the ball high in the air when taking penalties (remember the 2011 Carling Black Label Cup final) while also having excellent ball distribution skills. His surname also sounds similar to a former player (Louis Koen) so our melanin-deficient rugby lovers don’t have to worry about pronouncing his name well. We will settle for Itu Koen.
The key position of flyhalf requires a player who provides accurate kicking under pressure and huge doses of creativity in the opposition half. A non-white person in this position would provide current Springbok coach, Heynecke Meyer, with even more pressure to play a player of colour in the flyhalf position. The player I have in mind is coloured, fairly handsome, and can speak Afrikaans. His name is not Elton Jantjies. His name is Bernard Parker and, at the moment, no South African sportsman is better skilled at putting ball in between the upright posts.
Now, this being South Africa, the team has to “reflect the diversity of the nation”. Having had years of experience on the left side of the soccer pitch, Keegan Ritchie gets the nod for left wing position. Signing Orlando Pirates’ Danny Klate for the right wing position would help to further, ahem, reflect our nation’s diversity.
At inside centre Chiefs could have player-coach Gcobani Bobo providing valuable experience and guidance to the inexperienced members of the team with Yeye Letsholoyane at outside centre providing vision and creativity in the midfield.
|Rooi Mahamutsa kicks all types of balls|
At fullback, I would recommend yet another Pirate signing – the one and only, Rooi Mahamutsa. This player has proved his worth time and again. Most importantly, this player is adept at kicking all types of balls (if you know what I mean). The brutal game of rugby will provide him with an opportunity display his “special” qualities.
Arthur “Butterfingers” Bartman, however, must be released. Bartman has not been reliable with ball in hand and any knock-ons in the game will kill off any promising attacks. Bartman has already proved in the Telkom Knockout cup match against Bidvest Wits that at the highest level, handling mistakes can prove very costly.
Taking into account Chiefs’ traditional colours I recommend the nickname “The All Golds”. When Pirates eventually launches their rugby team, SA rugby may have its own version of the “All Blacks”. Just imagine the site of a Soweto Derby featuring The All Golds versus The All Blacks at a packed Soccer City!
I have not forgotten about Lebohang “I do hav Balz’ Majoro. Majoro would be given the responsibility of leading the Chiefs’ version of the Hakka – the Kwasa Kwasa – before match begins. Pirates, however, won’t have a Hakka of their own because as Andile Jali will tell you, they just “don’t care”.
This team would be near unstoppable and would be able to finally reclaim the Currie Cup.