Butch James remains South Africa’s best flyhalf option, Frans Steyn should play at fullback and Ruan Pienaar will play his best rugby at scrumhalf.
Stephen Nell Writes in Die Burger that these are the opinions of former Springbok flyhalf Gerald Bosch, who now lives in Brisbane, Australia, and who has become a mentor to Wallaby centre Berrick Barnes.
Bosch, who believes Steyn and Pienaar are being poorly managed, also feels South Africa have the best chance of winning this year’s Tri-Nations competition.
“James’s form is not what it should be but the selectors should retain him because he remains the best option,” Bosch said in an interview on Monday.
“His defence is brilliant and he has the experience of having played in Europe. If he is not playing well they could take a look at Peter Grant. I’d use him (Grant) as an impact player,” the legendary ex-Springbok said.
Rumours have been doing the rounds since last week that Pienaar may be at flyhalf when South Africa play Argentina in Johannesburg on August 9.
Bosch does not like the idea. “I’m not sure he will dictate the match from the flyhalf position. I feel he’ll play his best rugby at scrumhalf.
“He is being messed about. They should persist with him in one position.”
Must find a position for Steyn
The same applies to Steyn, who has been selected at flyhalf and centre for South Africa this year.
“They must find a position for Steyn. I believe he is a fullback. He can be used as a good attacking weapon from the back,” Bosch said.
Bosch favours South Africa to win the Tri-Nations.
“The Wallabies were lucky to beat the Boks in Perth,” he said. “I think the Tests against the All Blacks had exhausted the Boks.
“South Africa have a very good team and a good opportunity, with two home matches against the Wallabies and one against the All Blacks.
“The Springboks’ only problem is that they do not have an outside centre while Jaque Fourie is injured. Jaque is a classic outside centre when he is on form.
“Fourie du Preez is also an outstanding scrumhalf. I believe James will have more room when Fourie is in the team.”
Former Springbok coach Jake White shares Bosch’s views about Steyn. “I regard Frans as the natural successor to Percy Montgomery,” White wrote in his latest column for the magazine SA Rugby.
“Conrad Jantjes has played good rugby this season but Steyn’s instincts make him a greater threat to the opposition. And there is always a possibility that he could turn a poor touch kick into a drop-goal.
“South Africa have the best lineout in world rugby and that makes Steyn even more effective at fullback,” White wrote.
“So much of a team’s attacking game comes from lineouts and the South Africans are very good at disrupting their opponents’ lineout.”Tweet