Reports of Johan Goosen’s imminent and immediate elevation to the Bok match 22 would, according to an article in Beeld, seem somewhat premature.
Marco Botha, writing for the Afrikaans daily, caught up with the young Cheetahs flyhalf shortly after the latter’s inclusion in Dawie Theron’s SA Under 20 side. With Heyneke Meyer’s first senior Bok side set to do battle with the English in a three-test series that overlaps with the IRB Junior World Championship, a number of pundits raised concerns that the two coaches may well end up in a tug-of-war for Goosen’s services, with the Baby Boks the likely losers.
One can imagine that Theron has pretty clear plans to use Goosen as his starting flyhalf option for the big games, given how much more imposing and experienced he is that the also-talented Tony Jantjies. Any move to withdraw Goosen on the eve of the tournament would, of course, throw the Under 20 coach’s plans into utter disarray.
Meyer, though, doesn’t appear likely to use Goosen just yet, having apparently asked the player to concentrate more on tactical kicking, an area the coach feels he needs to improve on. This might come as a bit of a blow to the “give every 20 year old a Bok blazer” brigade, but bodes well for the future of South African rugby that the structures, for once, all seem to be pulling in the same direction and complementing each other.
Goosen will, I’m sure, go on to star for the Baby Boks and will continue to improve for the Cheetahs in Super Rugby as well. The player knows that he’s on Meyer’s radar too and with open lines of communication between coach and player, one would hope that it won’t be too long before Johan Goosen steps into the national reckoning at senior level.
Don’t expect that to happen against England, though; reading between the lines, it’s most likely Pat Lambie that will continue to deputise for incumbent Morne Steyn for the time being.Tweet