Theron uncertain over Junior Boks captain
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