Theron un­cer­tain over Ju­nior Boks cap­tain

CityPress - - Sport - LEIOGHTON KOOPMAN sports@city­

Ju­nior Spring­boks coach Dawie Theron’s big­gest headache might not be who he will se­lect for his squad for the Ju­nior World Cham­pi­onship, but rather which of Cur­win Bosch or Manie Lib­bok he will use as the gen­eral of his team.

The two game mak­ers, who sparkled in the Un­der-18 Craven Week last year, are com­pet­ing for the same jersey and it could prompt Theron to se­lect one of them at full­back.

At least he still has three try­out games be­fore mak­ing his de­ci­sion on the Ju­nior Boks’ fly half.

On Tues­day, Theron will pick the group of 28 play­ers to com­pete in the Ju­nior World Cham­pi­onship in Eng­land next month.

Lib­bok is cur­rently the Blue Bulls’ Cur­rie Cup fly half and that makes him favourite to don the Ju­nior Boks’ No 10 jersey.

“They are two ex­tremely tal­ented play­ers,” Theron said about his tal­ented backs.

“Manie is cur­rently play­ing fly half and he is do­ing well, while we also know what Cur­win is ca­pa­ble of. With the skills they have, can you af­ford to have only one of them on the field? No, you can’t.

“Cur­win is also an ex­cel­lent full­back. Any­way, he played at full­back and fly half for his Craven Week and Var­sity Cup teams. Manie can also play in sev­eral po­si­tions. At this stage I think he is an ex­cel­lent fly half.”

Theron says they will make their de­ci­sions about this im­por­tant po­si­tion on the ba­sis of what will work best for the team on the day.

How­ever, he ad­mit­ted that the SA Un­der-20 team this year did not have the depth they were spoilt with in the past.

“To be quite hon­est, our depth is not so good this year. If one or two play­ers do not have good form on the day, we will def­i­nitely have to work harder,” he added.

It’s es­pe­cially his team’s lock sup­ply that is a bit thin. Sev­eral play­ers are also do­ing ser­vice for their unions’ Cur­rie Cup and Su­per Rugby teams. This mak­ing Theron’s prepa­ra­tion a bit slower than in pre­vi­ous years.

James Hall, a scrum half, is cur­rently play­ing for the Southern Kings in Su­per Rugby, while Lib­bok, Jeremy Ward (cen­tre), Mos­alwa Ma­fuma (wing) and S’busiso Nkomo (wing) are play­ing Cur­rie Cup rugby.

The play­ers’ ab­sence gave Theron the chance on Fri­day to test play­ers on the fringes of the team against the Western Prov­ince Rugby In­sti­tute.

There were many mis­takes in the prac­tice match, but Theron said he got a good idea of which play­ers could put up their hands and slip in through the back door.

“Where there were doubts [about cer­tain po­si­tions], it showed to­day [Fri­day] and we now have more cer­tainty about it.”


UN­DE­CIDED Dawie Theron, the Ju­nior Spring­boks’ head coach PO­TEN­TIAL Manie Lib­bok is the Blue Bulls’ Cur­rie Cup fly half and that makes him the favourite to be ju­nior Boks cap­tain GEN­ERAL Cur­win Bosch of Sharks has been touted as one of the skip­pers for the Ju­nior Boks in their World Cup matches

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