Stand-in Stormers skipper Schalk Brits has dismissed criticism that his line-out throwing is sufficiently weak to prevent him progressing to international level.
Brits’s general play has been outstanding in the Vodacom Super 14 thus far, but the rave reviews have been tempered by his erratic line-out delivery.
Speaking to keo.co.za from Tauranga, Brits did not feel the criticism of his throwing was accurate, and that no allowance was made for new combinations to develop.
“Line-out throwing is not a weakness of mine, not at all,” Brits stormed. “As a hooker, if you haven’t played with certain locks and are not used to how they play, you are going to struggle for a bit. That is nothing to with my ability or with the pods. We have great props here and great locks, and it’s just about getting the combinations right and breeding familiarity.
“It hasn’t been great so far, no-one will deny that. But people must understand that every lock has a different way of jumping. It will improve though, we know it has to and it will.”
As on-field captain, Brits’s focus will no longer be solely on his line-out and scrumming responsibilities. He does not believe the task of motivating the slumped side is a difficult one, however.
“There’s been a lot of criticism, especially this week, but we’re a young side and this is part of our development. The senior guys know they must get more vocal on the field, but that isn’t my sole responsibility. I am not going to try anything drastic, and I have full confidence that the guys know what they have to do to get the result this weekend.
“I’m very excited.”
Brits laughed when asked whether he considered rebranding himself as a centre, as suggested on this site earlier. He would not rule out the possibility, however.
“I love the position I’m playing, I love hooker and I want to be the best No 2 in the country. Saying that I’ll play anywhere to improve the side.”
By Chris Hewitt