We’ve had further confirmation today that Juan Hernandez is very unlikely to feature for the Sharks in the 2010 Super 14. Monty Dumond has now emerged as the only real flyhalf contender in the squad.
I had a chat with Monty this morning and to say that he’s excited about the opportunity in front of him would be an understatement. Playing for the Sharks has always been his first choice, but he realises that in order to progress as a player, he needs regular gametime. Quality flyhalves are thin on the ground in the South African game today and Dumond did enough during the 2009 Currie Cup to be earmarked as a real contender. After initially being overlooked for the precocious Guy Cronje, the 27 year-old flyhalf put in some strong showings, including a match-winning performance against the Bulls in Durban.
It may have been his 50-plus metre penalty against the Cheetahs, though, that prompted Naka Drotske to look at him as a potential replacement for Jacques-Louis Pogieter for the 2010 Super 14 season. Negotiations were well under way until a series of injuries brought him right back into the Sharks frame. With Ruan Pienaar and Cronje both injured, Sharks coach John Plumtree was understandably very reluctant to release Dumond, even on a loan basis. Now that Hernandez has been ruled out, any thoughts of going to the Cheetahs are way back in Dumond’s mind. “I want that number 10 jersey!” he tells me. He means the black one, of course.
The key thing, to my mind, is that whoever plays in the number 10 jersey MUST be given the opportunity to establish some continuity. While I’m all for form-based selection on the whole, the one thing we simply cannot afford to do is chop and change flyhalf all season long. Let’s give Monty our fullest support – if he can replicate his Currie Cup form in the Super 14, then we need look no further for a flyhalf.Tweet