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Super Rugby 2019 - Preview - South African Teams


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Apr 9, 2010
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South Africa

So we're one week away from the start of the 2019 Super Rugby Season and I thought as usual, to give a preview of the SA teams, for those not so familiar with the teams and players, and who you need to look out for in the more younger guys.

The Bulls:

Well, I'm very excited to see how my Bulls team will perform this year, as it hasn't been a good couple of seasons with the turmoil they had in the past with the coaching and administrators issues. But it seems like it's all in the past now, and they have acquired some very clever guys in the coaching boxes and administration areas, and most of them have had a long standing relationship with the Bulls. The head coach is Pote Human, who has been with the Bulls now more than 7 years. He was assistant coach to Heyneke Meyer, Frans Ludeke & John Mitchell. He's had a stint coaching the U/20 Springbok team, and has been coaching Currie Cup and Varsity Cup teams.

The Bulls have been the most busy during the off-season in acquiring new players. They got Schalk Brits, Duane Vermeulen, Roscoe Specman, and Cornal Hendricks. They also brought in a lot of youngsters from the u/21 teams, who have been playing Varsity Cup, as part of the ongoing trend in growing the players at the Bulls.

The Bulls looks like they're going to play exciting rugby, if we look at the backline which are filled with guys with electrifying pace, good skills, and a lot of stepping. Between Papier, Gelant, Matthews, Specman and Stighling, I can see a lot of guys being bamboozled with their stepping.

Pollard has a very good prospect in Manie Libbok as his back-up, who at Currie Cup showed that he's ready to handle the pressure situations and doesn't stand back for guys twice his size.

But the big concern for me is the pack. No doubt we will hold our own in the lineouts with Lood De Jager, RG Snyman, Jason Jenkins and Duane Vermeulen all good options, but it's our scrums that has been the worrying factor, and I hope newcomer Matanzima and Mxoli will bring stability.

Springbok Players: Handre Pollard, Warrick Gelant, Jesse Kriel, Embrose Papier, Ivan Van Zyl, Duane Vermeulen, Marco Van Staden, Roelof Smit, RG Snyman, Lood De Jager, Trevor Nyakane, Schalk Brits.

Captain: Lood De Jager

Youngsters to look out for: Hendre Stassen, Manie Libbok, JT Jackson


The Lions who were runners-up last year, seem to have been flying a bit under the radar in the off season, especially after all the issues with their players being snatched by former coach Johan Ackermann at Gloucester. The only real big signing they announced was that of Stephan Lewies, in order to cover the spot left vacant by Franco Mostert.

My guess is that the Lions will again be a contender, should their players click and stay injury free. But they are this year without Mostert, as well as Rohan Janse van Rensburg, and the worry is also that Dyanthi might fall victim to the dreaded 2nd-year syndrome.

But I'm sure the Lions will again be a class act, Swys De Bruin and his coaches are now in their second term, and it seems like their a well-oiled machine just waiting to get going. The question is if the others have caught up??

Springbok Players: Malcolm Marx, Stephan Lewies, Courtnal Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Aphiwe Dyanthi, Warren Whiteley, Ross Cronje, Ruan Combrinck & Andries Coetzee

Captain: Warren Whiteley

Youngster to look out for: Hacjivah Dyamani

The Sharks:

The Sharks will have mostly the same team they had last year, apart from a few guys leaving or retiring who will in all likelihood be filled by some youngsters. Robert Du Preez will rely on his players using their experience from last season, to build up to this season, But for some reason I fear that this might not be enough to push for the playoffs.

There has been issues relating to Curwin Bosch and where he should play and whether or not Daddy is playing favourites to son Robert Du Preez in the fly half channel. Add to that the newcomer Apelele Fassi who was for me the player of the Currie Cup, who can play Fullback and Wing, the issue will be who to play where and who will be subbed.

Springbok Players: Beast Mtawarira, Thomas Du Toit, Coenie Oosthuizen, Ruan Botha, Louis Schreuder, Dan Du Preez, Jean-Luc Du Preez, Curwin Bosch, Lukhanyo Am, Andre Esterhuizen, Lwazi Mvovo, Sbu Nkosi, Makazole Mapimpi

Captain: Ruan Botha

Youngster to look out for: Apelele Fassi

The Stormers:

The less we talk about the backroom issues, the better. This is not a good way to start a new season with Players fighting with administrators about a coach. The whole liquadation debacle, and all the other issues surrounding Newlands. There is a bad atmosphere in the air surrounding the Thor-clad Stormers.

But with that said, be fearful of writing them off, as they are a class act under the coaching of a very underrated coach Robbie Fleck, and with the National Captain Siya Kolisi rallying the troops, this team will be a stormbreaking force to be reckoned with (see what I did there).

The Stormers have been smart in their signings, in only obtaining players they know they have a bit of a shortfall. As much as it pains me to say this, I think other than the Lions, the Stormers are the other SA team who could get to the playoffs.

Springbok Players: Siya Kolisi, Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, Wilco Louw, Bongi Mbonambi, Scarra Ntubeni, Pieter-Steph Du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Jano Vermaak, Damian Willemse, Damian De Allende, JJ Engelbrecht, Dillyn Leyds

Captain: Siya Kolisi

Youngsters to look out for: Juanro Augustus, Cobus Wiese

Dai Perk

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Sep 19, 2018
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Dang, buddy, this is super thorough, thanks for all the insights... I can’t WAIT for the season to kick off!

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