Calling for Gcobani Bobo’s head has become a popular pastime in some rugby circles but the Stormers’ coaches bank on the midfielder’s experience as the Super 14 competition heats up.
Stephen Nell writes in Die Burger that assistant coach Gary Gold says Bobo makes a valued leadership contribution. He can captain the side if Jean de Villiers is unavailable.
“Gcobani is a great personality and one of our seniors. He is of incalculable value to us,” Gold said on Wednesday.
“He may not do things as spectacularly as Jean de Villiers and Tonderai Chavhanga do but he is a hard worker.
“His good footwork often enables us to attack the gain line. His leadership is outstanding; he is highly intelligent and of great help to Jean.”
Bobo also has a major role in organising the Stormers’ defence. Chavhanga has made a point of saying he feels comfortable playing next to such experienced centres.
The Stormers have defended well this season, conceding only ten tries in seven matches.
After a stuttering start they have also come into their own on the attack, picking up a bonus point for four tries in three of their four matches in Australasia.
Will also look after younger players
The 28-year-old Bobo, a former Lions Springbok, took it upon himself to contact Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus to make the move to Cape Town.
His experience is important but the coaches will also look after younger players such as Morgan Newman, Juan de Jongh, PJ Vermeulen, Dabeon Draghoender and Dylan Des Fountain.
Gold says De Jongh, who went on tour with the Stormers, is a special player who can turn into a Robbie Fleck-type of midfielder.
“We took him along because we needed someone as cover at outside centre and on the wing.
“The young players have to be ready for action at all times. Most injuries occur among the flankers and centres,” Gold explained.
“We have many talented centres at Western Province and will need them when one or two of our players are on national duty.
“In last year’s Currie Cup competition four of our loose forwards were injured. This can easily happen at centre.
“We may not keep all the centres on our books in the long term but it is a healthy situation to have competition among them.”
Coach Rassie Erasmus still has the option of starting with All Black Tony Brown at flyhalf and utilising Peter Grant at inside centre.
Erasmus has said he will start with Brown at No 10 in some matches but Grant remains his first choice and Bobo’s contribution is highly valued.Tweet