Floors happy on the bench

The 26-year-old openside seems content to play his limited part in the Free State’s title defence of the Absa Currie Cup.

Floors is one of the form fetchers in South Africa at the moment, but has not received a great deal of game time this season. Vodacom Cheetahs coach Rassie Erasmus has used him as impact player to good effect, and while some players may abhor the label, Floors feels that he is a integral part of the team dynamic.

“It’s still great to be part of the match 22, and I understand my role in the side,” he told keo.co.za. “I’m usually used in the last 20 minutes when the opposition is tired, and so my speed comes into play.”

Vodacom Western Province experienced this phenomenon first hand last Friday. After having to contend with Ryno van der Merwe (who is another in great form) for the majority of the game in the loose, their weary forwards were run ragged by Floors, who’s speed to the breakdown secured numerous turnovers and thwarted any opposition hopes of a late revival.

Free State have three remaining games in the league, afterwhich is a probable semi-final and a possible final. Floors has been consistent, and admits that the end of year tour is in the back of the mind, but should have no bearing on his performance.

“It is an ambition, but I’m not thinking about playing for the Springboks at the moment. I’ve still got a job to do here with the Cheetahs,” he said.”There are still three games left to play before the semi-finals. My focus is firmly on the Pumas match this weekend.”

“I think that it’s up to Jake [White] to decided what type of player he is going to choose to fulfill a specific role.”

White has made it clear that he prefers the physical enforcers in the South African pack, and at 1.75m and 85kg, Floors doesn’t fit the profile. His limited height doesn’t offer an option in the line-out and his bulk is always going to detract from any extensive ball carrying ability.

And yet Floors has been lauded this season by critics, his fellow players and his coach. Cheetahs’ captain Ollie le Roux even told this website that Floors is “pound for pound the best rugby player he has ever played with.”

Although the Free State management won’t take the game up in Witbank for granted, Erasmus may still surprise with a few changes to the side that beat WP 28-13 in Bloemfontein. The teams will be announced later this week.

By Jon Cardinelli