With 2013 now getting into the swing of things, it would be worth to have a look at which players could and should come into the Bok selection frame this year.
Anton Bresler ;
He was absolutely superb last season. His immense tackle stats and ruck time action was most impressive for a young lock. His recieving of the kickoffs was also really good, his timing of the jump was great. His hands are also really solid, it seems the ball sticks which is what you want from your number 5.
There is no doubt a fit Bekker is the first choice number 5 at the Boks; but with him often breaking down I feel Bresler could be a great rotational option for Bekker. As we know Etzebeth is more of a ball carrying lock than a lock that is going to hit every single breakdown, and I feel a Etzebeth/Bresler combo could work well in the future. Some will say what about Kruger? Etzebeth and Kruger together…Kruger is not that effective at clearing out at breakdown time and Bresler makes more tackles, is more effective at the breakdown and is just as capable in the air as Kruger.
Bresler to replace Kruger in Bok squad.
Paul Willemse ;
Here is a guy that could actually come on for Etzebeth if required without me saying, “we’re losing a lot”. Willemse at 2 metres tall and 120kg (Lost 10kg of unwanted weight during this pre-season) is more than capable of taking of an Etzebeth role if required for the Boks. Willemse is also known for his big hits; is a machine at clearing out at the breakdown and can carry the ball up just as well as a top class blindside flanker can.
Willemse to replace Flip in the Bok squad.
Marcel Van der Merwe;
It is no secret that the Boks struggled most of last year to find a prop that can play both sides of the scrum and more specifically scrum as well as Jannie. Marcel will most certainly be a big player for the a Bulls scrum that was very poor last year. Van der Merwe is around 22 years old now; he’s a very strong ball carrier that often gets over the line for his team. He’s around 125kg and scrums really well at tighthead; one only needs to look at how low he gets his hips and flat he gets his back when it’s scrum time to realise he has some good technique. He also showcased some of his offloading skills in last years Currie Cup.
Van Der Merwe for Bok 17 jersey.
Don’t need to say much here, we all know what he is capable of. His combination with Lambie will also be something that Meyer should take into consideration.
I will be surprised if he does not become at least the Bok’s 3rd scrummie this year.
The best 13 in South Africa in terms of attack. He makes fast guys look slow and steps with ease. An area of his game which some were worried about a year ago is no longer a worry; but one of his strong points…his defence was great in Super Rugby. He often uses a wrap up tackle which kills the momentum for the attacking team. And even with an upright tackle to wrap up the defender he very often forced his opposite number backwards; Ii was very happy to see him use his strength in that way. Many of us know what he can do in the gym, so it is great to see him use it to the fullest on the rugby field.
The Sharks combo of Lambie, Steyn and Jordaan will be something that will work in Jordaan’s favour. I believe Steyn and Jordaan will be by a long shot the best centre combo in South Africa this year.
If Burger or Bissie becomes Bok captain this year it will be even better.
Lastly Raymond Rhule;
He has not really made a full breakthrough into the Bok selection frame, yet. Habana’s move to France will work for Rhule. When I think of the stocks for Bok wing, Rhule is definitely for me the 3rd choice wing or should be, as Hougaard is a lot better at 9 than at wing.
I believe these players will be the main guys putting pressure on Meyer to select them this year. I truly hope all of them get their recognition and i believe all of them will add greatly to the Boks’ gameplan and could also become star players for the Boks come the next world cup.Tweet