Skeate in with Bok shout

Stormers forwards coach Jerome Paarwater believes Ross Skeate has a realistic shot at Springbok selection this year.

Speaking to from the Stormers’ team hotel in Auckland, Paarwater endorsed the efforts of the young lock as “extremely impressive.”

“I think he’s really proved he’s a lock who can do a job for the Boks,” Paarwater said.

In a tight five routinely criticised, Skeate has consistently shone in the Vodacom Super 14 this season, providing a safe lineout option whilst remaining active around the park.

“He’s playing like an extra loose forward, and is running with the ball brilliantly. He has shown he has great hands, and has been explosive for us in the lineouts.”

Skeate’s relative inexperience could be the factor that ultimately determines his Bok fate this year. He only made one appearance off the bench for the Stormers last year, and so is realistically still in his debut season of regional rugby.

Paarwater does not believe this should be a factor, however.

“It’s not too early for him to get into the Bok side. Coaching wise we have managed him very carefully, and so his progression to Super 14 has been gradual. He’s got quite a few Currie Cup games under his belt and we haven’t rushed him.

“He’s taken his chances well, and is putting us as coaching staff under real pressure. We just can’t leave him out the side.”

Skeate will directly oppose All Black Ali Williams when the Stormers take on the Blues on Saturday.

By Chris Hewitt