Five players to watch in SA rugby in 2017
In anticipation of the new rugby season‚ we look at five players who could make their mark in 2017.
1. Jamba Ulengo (wing‚ Bulls and Springboks)
– He earned his first Test cap against Wales last November‚ and there should be many more to come with Bryan Habana and JP Pietersen seemingly out of the Test picture.
Ulengo has size and pace‚ two vital commodities for modern wing play.
2. Jean-Luc du Plessis (flyhalf‚ Stormers)
– A knee injury cut a promising 2016 season short but the talented playmaker has the chance to earn higher honours this year.
After Elton Jantjies’ woes at Test level‚ and Morné Steyn and Johan Goosen’s retirements‚ there is a chance for Du Plessis to force his way into the Test arena in 2017.
3. Uzair Cassiem (flank‚ Cheetahs and Springboks)
– Cassiem was one of few players to emerge from November’s loss to Wales with his reputation enhanced after a promising Test debut.
The bruising flank has great potential to be the answer to the Boks’ openside problems.
Although he plays blindside for the Cheetahs‚ coach Franco Smith believes that he has the skills to become a world-class fetcher.
4. RG Snyman (lock‚ Bulls)
– Although SA is currently blessed with excellent second row stocks‚ Snyman has the potential to force his way to the front of the queue.
His Bok debut against the Barbarians was superb and he was unlucky to suffer an injury that cut the rest of his tour short.
Massive‚ mobile and physical‚ Snyman is cut from the same cloth as Victor Matfield.
5. Curwin Bosch (fullback/flyhalf‚ Sharks)
– Bosch is arguably the best natural talent to emerge in a generation. Great speed‚ footwork‚ boot and brain‚ the 19-year-old has it all.
His temperament will be tested in Super Rugby while uncertainty over his best position could have a negative impact on his development‚ but his sheer talent should shine through if he is properly nurtured and managed.
TMG Digital/TMG Sport