With the league stages complete, here’s Keo.co.za’s 2006 ABSA Currie Cup form team.
15. Bev Fortuin (Cheetahs)
He edges out Gio Aplon, Stef Basson and JP Pietersen on the basis of consistency. Aplon and Basson, in the early rounds, were the most explosive, but Fortuin never played a bad game.
14. Philip Burger (Cheetahs)
We’ve found a place for him because he’s just made such an impact in the tournament. No right wing has been that good to keep him out.
13. Jaco Pretorius (Lions)
He has combined superbly with namesake Andre Pretorius and shown all the skills that made him such a good Sevens player.
12. Bradley Barritt (Sharks)
We haven’t seen the real explosion yet, but he was still better than anything else that played during the course of the season at No 12. Wynand Olivier when he came back from Bok duty produced some good performances, but this team is one measured over the course of the season.
11. Louis Ludik (Lions)
This kid will still play for South Africa. He has pace, will only get bigger and has a calm head. He is a footballer.
10. Andre Pretorius (Lions)
He has only played the last five games, but he made more impact in those games than any other domestic flyhalf this season. There are those who rave about Willem de Waal. To them I have only one thing to say. Take a look at De Waal’s defence against the Bulls on Saturday. Shocking.
9. Ruan Pienaar (Sharks)
Should have been introduced to the Boks a lot earlier, but was the quality halfback in the domestic competition. Bolla Conradie was consistent and Heini Adams had some very good games.
8. AJ Venter (Sharks)
Until his Bok call-up he was the pick of the No 8s. Robbie Diack started well, but faded a bit in the last few weeks.
7. Wikus van Heerden (Lions)
I am not considering Pierre Spies, who on form selects himself, because he missed a good six weeks while away with the Boks. Van Heerden, as a closed side flanker, was monumental for the Lions.
6. Luke Watson (WP)
Sensational season and was even better than in the Super 14. Kabamba Floors had a good season, but for consistency and impact Watson was the best loose-forward in the tournament.
5. Francois van Schouwenburg (Bulls)
It is the one area that there is still a shortage of quality international prospects.
4. Barend Pieterse (Cheetahs)
Very consistent. Francois van der Merwe has enormous potential but did not play enough games.
3. Jannie du Plessis (Cheetahs)
Another rewarded for his consistency. BJ Botha is ahead of him at the moment in the pecking order, but this was a selection made because of his durability in the season.
2. Gary Botha (Bulls)
With Schalk Brits injured, Botha was the best of the hookers by a long shot. His best domestic season in a while.
1. Ollie le Roux (Cheetahs)
Blossomed with the additional responsibility as captain. You can call him every name in the book, but he fronts every week and he’s been doing it with a smile on his face.
PS: Would I play this team as is against England at Twickenham. No. Would I pick many of these players in the national squad. Yes.