Former Springbok captain and No 8 Gary Teichmann is surprised that Ryan Kankowski did not crack the nod for South Africa’s starting line-up for Saturday’s rugby test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium.
Stephen Nell, Die Burger.
“I believe you pick the form player and that is Ryan. I’m surprised at the decision that was taken,” Teichmann said on Wednesday. He was commenting on Springbok coach Peter de Villiers’s decision to start with Pierre Spies at No 8 in Cardiff.
However, it was no slight on Spies, whom Teichmann believes is a very good player as well.
Teichmann nevertheless believes that Kankowski would have complemented flankers Schalk Burger and Juan Smith particularly well.
“The combination would have worked well because Ryan is a guy who can break the line. Pierre is the same kind of player as Schalk and Juan,” said Teichmann.
“The choice came as a surprise to me, but I believe Pierre is a very good player.”
Kankowski’s critics believe he is not as effective in tight play, but Teichmann, recognised as one of the best Bok No 8s of all time, reckons that is unfair.
“Sometimes labels are attached to players. I watched Ryan and he gets involved. He works hard,” said Teichmann.
Kankowski has been described as a ‘new Teichmann’, but some of his runs is also reminiscent of Bob Skinstad’s glory years.
“He is stronger and quicker,” Teichmann responded when he was asked whether Kankowski is a combination of him and Skinstad. “I would have been very happy to be as quick and strong as Ryan. The game has changed a lot since we played.
“I believe Ryan is being wasted on the bench. He has the x-factor and can change a game in an instant. He can also link with the backs.
“Peter de Villiers (Bok coach) is fortunate with the quality of players he has at his disposal.”Tweet