The Springboks are making one 13 year old smile. Here’s why.
My boy, Oliver, is a rugby nutter and as a SACS boy I wouldn’t expect anything else.
Here’s an email he sent me on Friday night. And it made me smile. I hope it does you too.
If you or your kids have any offerings or insights, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll post on Keo.co.za
By Oliver Keohane (SACS, 13 years-old) – as sent in an email to (his dad)
‘I am so excited about the Springboks next two years. Jaque Fourie and Jean together again with the option of JJ Engelbrecht or Jan Serfontein playing as well. In those four players the boks have great depth in the midfield, as well as Frans Steyn who can play 12, but if at full fitness I would play him full back.
‘At fullback there is the option of Frans Steyn (my number 1 choice) Zane Kirchener, who, although not inspiring on attack, does his basics very well, Willie le Roux and even Pat Lambie can cover fullback.
‘At 10 they have Morne Steyn who has been playing brilliant rugby, Johan Goosen who has just come back from injury, Pat Lambie, and in Handre Pollard they have a very exciting young 10.
‘Wing wise they have good experience and youth in JP Pietersen, Bryan Habana, Willie le Roux, who can cover flyhalf, fullback and wing, Jean De Villiers who has played some great rugby on the wing (many argue that he is too slow and old, yet I have never seen him being beaten by superior pace, I can honestly say) and JJ Engelbrecht who now plays 13 but he used to play wing and can do a job there if need be. Francois Hougaard upon return could also do well at wing. A youngster who I highly rate is Sebetlo Senatla, who I think could be a Springbok winger if he decides to play 15 man rugby (not exclusively sevens)
‘In Fourie Du Preez they have, in my opinion, the best scrumhalf in the world, as well as the experienced Ruan Pienaar. In terms of young talent I rate Louis Schreuder highly, although he is still very rough around the edges (how could we forget that intercept pass) his playing style reminds me a lot of Du Preez. In over seas based players, we have Jano Vermaak and, if he doesn’t end up playing for France, Rory Kockett who was the French Top 14 player of the year.
‘South Africa is blessed in terms of loose forwards. Schalk Burger, one of the best loose forwards to have ever played the game is making a return after being sidelined, as is Juan Smith (although he is in France, there is still a chance of selection in the future). At openside, Frnacois Louw is playing the best rugby of his life, and the skilled Siya Kolisi adds good variety. Willem Alberts, although he does not have a great work rate, is one one of the most physically imposing blind sides out there. I think he would be a great impact player or could play the first 40/50 minutes and do well. Duane Vermeulen has been brilliant this year. He offers huge physicality and go forward at number 8. Pierre Spies should be returning soon and, I think, if managed properly could have a good impact. Start Vermeulen who can physically smash the opposition for 50-60 minutes and then bring Spies on to run at tired legs in a game that has opened up more towards the end.
‘Victor Matfiled being back is huge in terms of the experience he brings to the squad and to a game and the fact that he can mentor the young Pieter- Steph du Toit. I rate Steph du Toit very highly and see him as the future number 5 in Bok rugby. Eben Etzebeth at only 21 is currently one of the best number 4 locks in international rugby but can still learn a lot from having Bakkies in the mix. Imagine you have just played 40 minutes against Eben Etzebeth and then Bakkies Botha comes on!
‘We have the 2 best hookers in the world in Bismarck Du Plessis and Adriaan Strauss, as well as having Craig Burden, Chiliboy Rallapelle and Schalk Brits based over seas.
‘Beast remains one of the best loose heads in world rugby and Coenie Osthuizen, who is more wrecking ball than human, would happily come on in the last 20 minutes of a game to demolish the opposition. (As well as being huge, he is also very mobile and fast) There is also the young Steven Kitsoff who could still rise through the ranks.(props usually only peek later in there careers) At tighthead Jannie Du Plessis scrums very well and I’m sure he does not run softly but I see him as a liability on defence, hopefully a tighthead will emerge in the near future.
‘If Heyneke can get the balance between youth and experience right and build a good team dynamic, I see the Boks future as very bright.’
Oliver Keohane’s Facebook Boots, Mauls & Rugby Balls rugby page