Stormers and Springbok assistant coach Gary Gold is backing the controversial plan to convert Nick Koster into a wing.
Stephen Nell writes in Die Burger that Koster made his debut as No 8 for Western Province during last year’s Currie Cup, but has had to broaden his horizons at the Stormers.
“I’m not generally in favour of fielding players out of position unless you get a situation like this,” said Gold.
“Nick is an outstanding footballer and can do everything you would expect from a loose forward. He can tackle players back, steal the ball in the tackle and recycles the ball.
“However, he has incredible pace. He is the 100m and 200m record-holder at Bishops and was used as a loose forward there, possibly because his coaches wanted him to get his hands on the ball as quickly as possible.
“We have Schalk Burger, who is the best in the world, as well as fantastic loose forwards in Duane Vermeulen, Luke Watson, Francois Louw and Pieter Louw.
“Nick would have to bide his time for a few years as loose forward. The shift to wing paves the way for him to play Super 14 rugby much earlier in his career.”
Gold believes Koster can be a similar attacking weapon for the Stormers that Tongan star Epi Taione was in Europe.
“Taione could play blindside flank, No 8, inside centre, outside centre and wing. He was big, strong and fast. It was a nightmare to defend against him. The principle with Nick is the same,” said Gold, who used to coach English club side London Irish.
Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus probably has to pick from a list of Koster, Wylie Human, Alapate Fatafehi and Joe Pietersen to replace the injured Sireli Naqelevuki for the first Super 14 game against the Sharks on February 14.
Gold identified the lineouts as a problem area following Saturday’s friendly match against Boland.
“I was not happy, particularly considering we are a good lineout side,” said Gold.
“There are less lineouts in the game now, but it’s still a very important facet. It’s my responsibility and I am to blame.”Tweet