robdylan

Is there room for Pottie?


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 11 May 2015 at 10:19
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The Sharks’ decision to sign Waratah loose forward Jacques Potgieter for Super Rugby, starting next year, hasn’t met with universal approval. Let’s look at the specifics in a little more detail before being too hasty to reach a conclusion.

An online interview with former Sharks captain Gary Teichmann last week raised some doubts about the acquisition, with Teichmann questioning the wisdom in signing an older player when the Sharks have talented youngsters like Jean-Luc and Daniel du Preez already in the system. Without knowing Gary personally, I can’t really say what his motives were in saying what he said but as a man of integrity, I doubt he would have gone out of his way to make a big scene; rather this is likely to be a case of a journalist asking a seemingly innocent question and then spinning the resulting (honest) answer into something it wasn’t meant to be.

Regardless of any journalistic licence, though, we have to acknowledge that Teichmann’s point is valid and at least warrants discussion. After all, this signing does come against a backdrop of a number of a number of cases in the past where the decision to sign an experienced player from elsewhere has had a detrimental effect on the development (read gametime) of juniors already in the system. Those who are regular readers of this site will know that Gary and I are pretty much of one accord when it comes to this point and that I would personally always pick a young player rather than opting to shop around outside.

Neither Gary Teichmann, nor Rob Otto, is responsible or accountable for results, though. That’s a pretty key point. We’ve seen just how impatient the average Sharks fan can be and while we like to say that we back the youth, we’re also rather unforgiving when it comes to mistakes. All the talk of being “like the Lions” and starting from square one with a young squad seems idyllic, until you start to count the number of losses along the way and the amount of patience and understanding that a fickle fan base will need to invest in such a process.

So let’s assume that the Sharks are always going to want to put as competitive a side on the pitch as they can – at least in Super Rugby – and look to ensure that they balance the needs of younger players against fan expectations through sensible rotation of a squad that contains a mix of players. Assume also that at least one or two big names are going to drop off the loose forward roster after this year’s World Cup – since it’s incredibly naive to assume that the Sharks are going to retain every player currently in the mix. Can Potgieter be accommodated under these circumstances?

For starters, we need to acknowledge that he comes for Super Rugby only; it was recently reported that the player has signed on with Japanese team Sanix until the end of 2017, meaning he’ll not play any Currie Cup rugby for the Sharks. This is not really an ideal model for anyone in South Africa but it’s a reality of the modern game and every local franchise now finds themselves having to accommodate such deals. In other words, there is still plenty of time for the du Preez twins (who we must remember still have two years of under 21 eligibility left) to establish themselves as senior options by playing a starting role in Currie Cup – and I would imagine that would happen from this year already. We’ve all seen how Super Rugby attrition takes its toll on back row players and I would be very surprised if we didn’t see Potgieter and the two du Preez boys used extensively in Super Rugby over the next two seasons. Just look at this year, as an example, with the Sharks forced to pick Kyle Cooper as loose forward reserve due to the loss of four other players (or six if you consider that the self-same twins are unavailable due to Junior Springbok commitments).

If there’s one thing that we surely MUST have learned by now, it’s that depth is non-negotiable in Super Rugby. With the Sharks, like many other teams, sure to lose a few big names after the World Cup, the addition of loose forward options like Jacques Potgieter and Renaldo Bothma makes a fair amount of sense and does not automatically mean that Daniel and Jean-Luc du Preez will be blocked from progressing. I’m quite sure that even Gary Teichmann would agree, if he thought it through a bit more.


58 Comments

  • “the addition of loose forward options like Jacques Potgieter and Renaldo Bothma makes a fair amount of sense and does not automatically mean that Daniel and Jean-Luc du Preez will be blocked from progressing” from what we have seen from the sharks the last few years is that it means exactly that unfortunately

  • Comment 1, posted at 11.05.15 10:29:07 by Poisy Reply
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  • @Poisy (Comment 1) : I think we need to acknowledge that it depends on what the coaches decide to do. Gary has already selected Dan and would, I’m sure, have done so again had the player not been unavailable.

  • Comment 2, posted at 11.05.15 10:41:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • Well seeing that we have no further part in VC lets HOPE Gary uses some young guys for the last 2 SR games we have back here in SA vs Rebels and Stormers. Give some guys a bit of exposure and use those 2 games to look at a few new combo’s – esp at midfield and loosies.
    Having said that – I agree Rob there IS room for Pottie in our SR squad next yr as his experience will help a lot to guide younger players.

  • Comment 3, posted at 11.05.15 10:44:41 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

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  • I realise that it comes on the back of some dodgy signings, but I cant understand why anyone would bitch when we sign a superstar like Potgieter. I am very excited. This will definitely offset the inevitable loss of Alberts quite a bit. And like Rob said, he has a winners medal.

  • Comment 4, posted at 11.05.15 10:47:48 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • I agree depth is all important in SR and rather have depth in payer like him with his skill set ,can only add value unlike hu puf has beens currently,but what’s with this disclaimer thing?

  • Comment 5, posted at 11.05.15 10:47:58 by benji Reply
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  • @benji (Comment 5) : what disclaimer?

  • Comment 6, posted at 11.05.15 10:53:57 by robdylan Reply
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  • It all boils down to a well communicated and implemented rotation policy. As long as each player know where they stand in terms of planning I can see this signing working to everyone’s mutual benefit.

  • Comment 7, posted at 11.05.15 11:10:40 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : Sharks fans not being able to hold you liable for results,hell after every other person down to the cleaners is being blamed for the Sharks problems ,you next in line mate

  • Comment 8, posted at 11.05.15 11:13:47 by benji Reply
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  • Youth is not better just because they are younger. Its very important to remember that. Yes we must have faith in our youth BUT they have to prove why they should be given a shot and why they are better than the older established players. Potgieter is a very good player. So yes back our youth but only when the youth perform in their own age groups and force their way in. I have no problem givign guys a shot when we have injuries etc….but you tread a very thin line just playing guys cos they younger. What happens when DuPreez boys are 25…must they then also make way?

  • Comment 9, posted at 11.05.15 11:14:28 by SheldonK Reply

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  • I have a gut feel that we are losing another top loosie at the end of this year that has yet been undisclosed. Who has or hasn’t signed up for extended stay?

  • Comment 10, posted at 11.05.15 11:15:10 by MikeN Reply

     
  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 4) : and a winning mentality

  • Comment 11, posted at 11.05.15 11:15:20 by benji Reply
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  • I think it’s a good signing. We need the depth because Alberts is likely to leave soon.

  • Comment 12, posted at 11.05.15 11:18:29 by StevieS Reply
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  • @benji (Comment 8) : oh right – yes, fair enough 🙂

  • Comment 13, posted at 11.05.15 11:28:11 by robdylan Reply
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  • @MikeN (Comment 10) : so – here’s what my notes tell me regarding loose forward contracts (and this is only what I know)

    Khaya Majola – Contract ends Oct 2016
    Jean Deysel – contract ends 2018 (presume end 2017). SR and CC
    Jacques Potgieter – two year contract from 2016 (presume ends 2017). SR only (Japan for CC)
    Renaldo Bothma – Super Rugby only contract for 2015 and 2016

    I do not know the contractual situation of any other loose forward. What I can tell you is that no new contract has been confirmed for any of the guys I’ve not mentioned in the last year.

  • Comment 14, posted at 11.05.15 11:29:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • so, to my knowledge, Alberts and Coetzee are both coming up for renewal soon. I’m not sure about Mtembu and Kankowski.

    Let me have a dig further back into the archives to see what I can find.

  • Comment 15, posted at 11.05.15 11:31:46 by robdylan Reply
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  • Interesting Rob. I hate to say it but it is Marcel that my gut is warning me about! If Marcel and/or Willem are outward bound then Pottie is a fantastic poach, and I do like his attitude and style of play. Time will tell.

  • Comment 16, posted at 11.05.15 11:38:46 by MikeN Reply

     
  • @MikeN (Comment 16) : Smit said in the Mercury (or was it the Daily News?) a few weeks back that they are close to getting Marcell to re-sign.

  • Comment 17, posted at 11.05.15 11:42:03 by robdylan Reply
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  • @MikeN (Comment 16) : based on this http://www.sharksworld.co.za/2012/10/05/who%E2%80%99s-your-shark-huh-huh/ I think Marcell’s contract is definitely up this year.

  • Comment 18, posted at 11.05.15 11:44:16 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : Deysel to captain CC side?? Chances?

  • Comment 19, posted at 11.05.15 11:49:49 by SheldonK Reply

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  • Youll probably find that there are certain players in crucial back row and second row positions leaving and or retiring at the end of the year.
    Im not saying I agree with the signing but there must be some news that we aren’t aware of.

  • Comment 20, posted at 11.05.15 11:54:39 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 19) : Mtembu to captain the CC side, I’d hope, with Deysel in support.

    Currie Cup loose forward options look ok

    Majola, Deysel, Mtembu, Kleinhans, Du Preez (x2), Meyer

  • Comment 21, posted at 11.05.15 11:56:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : Rob while youre digging, would you mind checking when Whiteley’s contract expires at the lions 😈

  • Comment 22, posted at 11.05.15 12:02:05 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @StevieS (Comment 12) : Even if Alberts were not to leave, when last did he manage more than two consecutive games before breaking down? This is a good signing in my opinion

  • Comment 23, posted at 11.05.15 12:02:18 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : Fair shout on Mthembu. Kleinhans and Meyer hasnt impressed me at this level. I have a feeling Oosthuizen will play flank too

  • Comment 24, posted at 11.05.15 12:22:45 by SheldonK Reply

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  • I really don’t think we needed to select either Oosthuizen or Cooper as loose forward cover.

    One of Oosthuizen/Giant/Botha should have been left home and one of Khaya Majola or Johan Meyer or other (I don’t know the vodacom cup players that well right now… Francois Kleinhans is also back from injury), should have been taken along.

    Oosthuizen also covers looseforward so he is my pick and Botha has been used from the bench and Giant has been completely absent, so then he needed to be left back.

    Yes, we did lose Deysel, Kanko and Mtembu, and our junior Boks, but I don’t expect young players to stay after hearing the news that another loose forward has been signed when they see our signed loose forwards aren’t even trusted in the team now.

    I don’t know which of Deysel, Kanko, Alberts if any of them we will still have after the World Cup so Potgieter’s signing isn’t all that bad, but that, couple with the way “Junior” players are treated at the Sharks, will have a negative effect on our attempts to keep younger or “junior” players.

    Hoffman never have tour and should have been replace by Wright (he’s already leaving), or Hanco Venter on tour.

    Ungerer should have been Reinach’s understudy from day one (actually, I was all for given Hoffman a shot, but he’s been poor since minute one and should have been dropped very quickly considering the potential we have waiting in the wings).

    We don’t have the same young talent depth at 13 and 15, but both these positions also have had players bringing poor performance after poor performance with no consequences.

    I would have loved to see two young talented players brought in early on to see if they can do better than Waylon and SP (two player who I actually would have loved to perform, but just hasn’t).

    Why not bring in a young player in these positions? And if there’s no one trusted to be good enough, where the hell are all our young talent?

  • Comment 25, posted at 11.05.15 12:29:10 by Letgo Reply
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  • Hi Not much time to talk. I think it’s great that Sharks have signed Potgieter for SUPER Rugby. Look where we are now with very little cover!

  • Comment 26, posted at 11.05.15 12:48:37 by Den Reply

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  • @Letgo (Comment 25) : Agreed 100%

  • Comment 27, posted at 11.05.15 12:50:24 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 22) :

    recently signed a contract extension im afraid

  • Comment 28, posted at 11.05.15 12:52:37 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 28) : Well done to your team on Saturday. Excellent fightback in the second half.

  • Comment 29, posted at 11.05.15 12:54:24 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 29) :

    thanks . Had my nerves going for a while . but good display by the boys in the end . Hope we can hang onto your players and keep the sharky poachers at bay 😈

  • Comment 30, posted at 11.05.15 12:55:42 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 30) : your team is a class act now they learning the habit of winning and as for FAF and ELTON eish,they just playing rugby on another level altogether

  • Comment 31, posted at 11.05.15 13:02:13 by benji Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : Im sure I recently read an article where John Smit says or at least heavily infers that Marcell and Beast recommit to the Sharks. Lets see if I can find it.

  • Comment 32, posted at 11.05.15 13:02:52 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @benji (Comment 31) : Elton is back to form and im happy about that . Faf also looking good . Think Elton is on board for another season . Need to get faf with the Lions on a permanent base

  • Comment 33, posted at 11.05.15 13:04:45 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 32) :

    Ok here you go

    “When it comes to retaining players from a financial point of view, we’re always going to be up against it competing with the yen, euro and pound. So for us it’s about being able to cleverly contract players and avoid that threat of those stronger currencies.

    “The business is in a strong position, and those numbers are really important. We do have guys keen to continue with us, the likes of Marcell (Coetzee) and Beast (Mtawarira) have indicated their intention to stay, but there are also obviously some negotiations that are still ongoing with others.”

    Full article / spiel here http://www.iol.co.za/sport/rugby/smit-wants-to-get-fans-excited-again-1.1846784#.VVCNP46qqko

  • Comment 34, posted at 11.05.15 13:07:54 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 34) : ah yes, thanks. That’s what I was referring to in comment 17.

  • Comment 35, posted at 11.05.15 13:23:02 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 33) : yes cause he is seriously good he turned those Highlanders on their heads

  • Comment 36, posted at 11.05.15 13:25:31 by benji Reply
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  • @benji (Comment 36) : very snappy serves . Made a notable difference when he came on . hoping for the best .

  • Comment 37, posted at 11.05.15 13:45:08 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 28) : Hou styf vas!

  • Comment 38, posted at 11.05.15 14:43:54 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 38) : if he leaves i will hang onto his ankel all they way kicking and screaming .

  • Comment 39, posted at 11.05.15 15:28:22 by Zibbie Reply
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  • Set a clear policy qualification criteria and a company in processes. In this case a build vs buy policy. Then ensure operators stick to policies. I agree one should rather build and sharks have lost a lot of talent in the past not offering guys scope for growth.

  • Comment 40, posted at 11.05.15 16:23:19 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : Deysel not going back to Japan?

  • Comment 41, posted at 11.05.15 17:19:11 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 41) : no

  • Comment 42, posted at 11.05.15 17:45:20 by robdylan Reply
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  • Rob, I think the concner arises in the ratio of signings to new players coming through the ranks.

    There have been so many signings this year, but precious little in fresh faces coming through the academy.

    Sides full of mercenaries seldom have much longevity. Unless the pockets are exceptionally deep.

    Just as a mental exercise – how many signings versus fresh faces have we seen at the sharks this year? 5 to 1 perhaps?

    I suppose what im trying to say is thus: there’s nothing wrong in recruiting players, provided it doesn’t wholly come at the expense of player development.
    IMHO the Sharks have gone too far.

  • Comment 43, posted at 11.05.15 17:54:52 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 43) : FULLY AGREE.

    If this were the Dick Muir era I would be more optimistic, but the past 5 years haven’t been great in terms of blooding youngster in my view. Look at all the locks and replacement props we have lost.

  • Comment 44, posted at 12.05.15 02:43:51 by pienaar111 Reply

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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 43) : That is a fair comment, I reckon…

  • Comment 45, posted at 12.05.15 08:59:18 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Having said that, I am happy with this particular signing!

  • Comment 46, posted at 12.05.15 08:59:52 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 25) : @VinChainSaw (Comment 43) : Two great comments. Sharks need to get that balance right.

  • Comment 47, posted at 12.05.15 09:22:38 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 43) : I won’t disagree – I can’t disagree.

    Looking at the bigger picture, the Sharks have got this wrong in recent years. It started way before Smit, but he hasn’t done anything to arrest the slide or change the perception – I would argue that through his signings of the likes of Stevens, Botha, Hoffmann, Murray, etc he has made it worse.

    I’m very keen to look at each signing, though, on its own merits. I would not have written such a piece about someone like Stevens or Hoffmann because it wouldn’t have been accurate. I genuinely believe that Potgieter, taken in isolation and given the current loose forward situation, is a good player to invest in.

  • Comment 48, posted at 12.05.15 09:36:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 48) : I agree with Potgieter being a good signing altho the way he left Durbs last time is suspicious but i wont comment more. In terms of build vs buy…yes perhaps a few guys could have been given a chance but its not like we were producing plenty that were taking the u19,u21 and VC competions by storm and killing it there. Guys that dd well in those comps- Lambie, Cooper, PSDT, Coetzee and Williams to an extent have been given a chance. Of the rest- can they truly say they have put their hands up? YEs 1 or 2 scrumhalfs of late but other than them??

  • Comment 49, posted at 12.05.15 10:04:39 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 49) : PLEASE let’s not start digging into that topic. The amount of shit we’ll uncover is frightening, trust me.

  • Comment 50, posted at 12.05.15 10:32:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • Since reading he will be flitting back to Japan after his super rugby stint with us, I lost interest. None of these Japanese mercenary combo deals has worked out for us. Loyalty and team commitment is stifled by having two masters (and the other one paying more).

  • Comment 51, posted at 12.05.15 10:36:44 by Feather Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 48) : Agreed…

  • Comment 52, posted at 12.05.15 11:12:37 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Feather (Comment 51) : I also hate this setup, trust me, but with people like Brenden Nel writing that these Japanese deals are “the future of SA rugby” or whatever, it feels a bit like farting against thunder.

  • Comment 53, posted at 12.05.15 11:13:09 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 50) : And nobody likes uncovered shit haha

  • Comment 54, posted at 12.05.15 11:23:30 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 54) : not that sort of shit. We start digging and we’ll never stop. The problem is endemic – or at least seems to be.

  • Comment 55, posted at 12.05.15 11:32:32 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 55) : Rob if you want me to dig i will first have to consult my union rep and discuss fair wages with substantial leave…i will need a housing and car allowance and ample overalls should 1 get dirty…oh and dont forget the UIF 😉

  • Comment 56, posted at 12.05.15 11:49:01 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 56) : negative. Pull out!

  • Comment 57, posted at 12.05.15 12:24:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • Is Potgieter and Claasens a stopgap? Claasens I believe but Potgieter? Flanker is probably the one area where things are well covered. All I can think is that his different style in play and performance overseas made some eyes shine brightly when he showed some interest. A nice to have but how necessary? On the other hand I can see how he could solve a captaincy problem and provide nice rotation on nr 8. Do you think it would be giving away too much strategic advantage for them to let us in on the thinking?

  • Comment 58, posted at 12.05.15 14:00:04 by coolfusion Reply

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