A number of different former Springboks have been asked who their Springbok fullback would be and a number of different players’ names have popped out of the hat, Daniller, Ludik, Steyn, Terblanche, Kirchner and even Fourie.
News 24 reports that Former Springbok fullbacks feel that Stefan Terblanche and Zane Kirchner are the strongest candidates to replace the injured Conrad Jantjes in the Test series against the British and Irish Lions.
And should Frans Steyn recover in time from his knee injury, he must be considered as a possible replacement. However, Springbok coach Peter de Villiers could opt for Lions centre Jaque Fourie as his fullback.
Former Bok Theo van Rensburg believes Terblanche’s experience makes him the best option – he has played a significant role in the Sharks’ Super 14 campaign.
“They say Super14 rugby can be likened to Test rugby. Well, Stefan has proved himself at Super14 level. He has played outstanding rugby the last two seasons,” said Van Rensburg.
“Stefan kicks well and there is nothing wrong with his attacking game. He is also very good under the high ball.”
If former Griquas coach Gysie Pienaar was one of the selectors, he would have chosen Steyn as his first-choice fullback.
Pienaar, who played for South African against the Lions in 1980, also has a high regard for Terblanche, the Lions’ Louis Ludik and the Bulls’ Kirchner.
“Kirchner is a young guy that has played good rugby of late,” he said but believes Terblanche’s age may count against him. He turns 34 in July.
Terblanche made his Test debut against Ireland in Bloemfontein as a 22-year-old in 1998. He played in 41 games for South Africa, of which 37 were Tests. His last Test was at the 2003 World Cup in Australia.
“He has a lot of experience and Peter will have to decide whether he will be prepared to take the risk of playing with an inexperienced fullback. It’s a pity about Jantjes. He was playing good rugby since his return to international rugby,” said Pienaar.
On the other hand, Bevin Fortuin, who made his Bok debut against Ireland in 2006, believes Terblanche is deserving on form.
“His age should not count against him. He should be picked on form. Zane is also playing good rugby. Zane and even Louis might not be bad options in the long term,” said Fortuin.
He added that he would have tossed Steyn’s hat into the ring had he been fit. Fortuin, Steyn and Jaco Pretorius made their Test debuts together against Ireland in 2006.
Johan Heunis said Steyn would be his first choice. “It does not appear as if Steyn wants to play there, but he is a quality player. He is good under the high ball. He is also physical and defends well. On top of that he kicks the ball a mile,” said Heunis.
“Zane Kirchner is the next fullback I would pick. He is playing with greater confidence. He is reliable and does not make many mistakes.”
While Rugby 365 reports that Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské believes that Hennie Daniller has a strong case for inclusion the Springbok squad in the wake of Conrad Jantjes’ injury.
There will be a lot of interest in the battle between the Bulls’ Zane Kirchner and Daniller this weekend despite the fact that Jaque Fourie is believed to have the inside lane for the Springboks’ fullback berth.
Stefan Terblanche could also be in contention for a Bok recall, however, Drotské’s money is on Daniller.
“Hennie is the best kicking fullback apart from Conrad. His kicks for touch goes unbelievably far,” Drotské told Volksblad.
“No fullback is also better than him under the high ball [due to his height and weight]. Our fitness coach Neil Du Plessis has also worked hard on his speed and it is clear this season that he is quicker off the mark.”
Sharksworld note: There have also been some very valid calls from certain quarters for the inclusion of Louis Ludik who has had an outstanding season with the Auto & General Lions.Tweet