Bismarck’s the best

Bismarck du Plessis has used the World Cup to enhance his reputation as the world’s No 1 hooker.

Du Plessis made an immediate impact for the Boks when he came off the bench in their World Cup opener against Wales, helping to turn a 16-10 deficit into a 17-16 victory.

‘To have a replacement hooker like Du Plessis coming off your bench is something no team in world rugby can match and is a massive weapon,’ Wales coach Warren Gatland said after the game. ‘He really put himself about in the time he was on. I’d say he was probably their most influential sub. I’m glad we didn’t have to play against him for longer.’

In the latest SA Rugby magazine – a 172-page bumper edition – we analyse Du Plessis’ season and lament the fact that he’s been relegated to the Bok bench to accommodate captain John Smit.

Also in the new issue:

Conrad Smith and Ma’a Nonu are totally different players but together they form a potent midfield combination

– Wallabies coach Robbie Deans took a big gamble when he made James Horwill his new captain, just three weeks before the World Cup

Heinrich Brüssow used the home leg of the Tri-Nations to fight his way into the Springboks’ World Cup squad

– How Bryan Habana rediscovered his form ahead of the World Cup

Manu Tuilagi has brought muscle to England’s midfield

– Thirteen years after making his England debut, Jonny Wilkinson is still setting the example for his team-mates

– Having been left out of Ireland’s squad for the 2007 World Cup, Tommy Bowe made sure the selectors couldn’t ignore him in 2011

– Outgoing France coach Marc Lievremont will be remembered for his conservative approach to the game, odd selections and public outbursts

– Western Province flank Siya Kolisi has made the most of his opportunities in this year’s Currie Cup

– Sharks wing Sibusiso Sithole wants to refine his game

Jaco Taute has all the attributes required to play at the highest level

– There’s something special about Johann Sadie

Clint Newland and Ross Kennedy are playing an important part in EP’s rugby renaissance

– A host of players are representing their adopted countries at this year’s World Cup

– The Webb Ellis Cup is closely guarded when it travels around the world, but that wasn’t always the case

Click here to subscribe to print edition

Click here to subscribe to digital edition