Have any of you hear about the 102kg outside centre that’s been spotted training with the Sharks?
Bet that got your interest, didn’t it? Well, I’m afraid to say it’s not actually anybody new who’s joined the squad, although there was a media report late last year indicating that the Sharks are still looking for some more depth in that position. No, this is a bit of news that has almost slipped by – Stefan Terblanche has, according to John Plumtree, gained 6 kgs during the off-season.
When I read that at first, I wasn’t all that worked up about it. I mean, it’s great that Stef has added some muscle, but so what? Then I went and did the maths and realised that if a player who already weighs 95 or 96, puts on that much extra bulk, he all of a sudden turns into a bit of a monster! While it admittedly doesn’t quite put him into the Sonny Bill Williams or Ma’a Nonu category, a 100kg+ Terblanche does start to look far more evenly matched against more moderately-sized outside centres like Jaque Fourie, Waylon Murray, Stirling Mortlock and so on.
What is, though, possibly even more encouraging, is the fact that far from winding down as his retirement looms, the 36-year-old Terblanche is quite clearly motivated as all hell for this season and appears determined to force the coaches to pick him regularly at 13. While he may have lost the out-and-out pace needed to really excel in the outside backs, Stef has always been explosive and his good hands, fair turn of pace and now the bulk to punch through tackles should make him an incredibly handy option in the midfield.
Good to have you with us, Stef… let’s keep the magic going!Tweet