Heinz Schenk
2 minute read
2 Mar 2017
4:09 pm

Calls mount for unfashionable Courtnall Skosan to be recognised

Heinz Schenk

The Lions winger has never been flashy but he's become one of the most rounded in SA. His coaches believe its time to take him seriously.

Courtnall Skosan: a Lion that's roaring loudly to the national selectors. Photo: Barry Aldworth/Gallo Images.

A successful rugby team like the Lions can’t just have players that steal the show.

They need a few unfashionable workhorses, men who operate in the shadows and deliver contributions that aren’t immediately appreciated.

In other words, the guy who makes his teammates around him look good.

Also read: WATCH: Blame refereeing, not Trevor Nyakane for Bulls scrum woes

Courtnall Skosan is one of those men … and he’ll be that guy on Saturday against the Waratahs at Ellis Park too.

Yet the winger’s been doing his job so well the past two years that some observers are actually noticing him.

And they’re wondering why he hasn’t been invited to Allister Coetzee’s first Springbok training camp of the year.

“In my humble opinion, we should definitely be in that Bok training group,” Swys de Bruin, the Lions’ assistant coach, said on Thursday.

“He’s a brilliant winger, a team man. Courtnall deservedly made the South African ‘A’ side last year on the back of a brilliant Super Rugby campaign. If that decision had been up to me, he would be in the national squad.”

That’s high praise from a man credited to being the biggest of the masterminds behind the Lions.

However, it’s defence guru JP Ferreira that sums up Skosan’s biggest strength the best.

“The great thing about Courtnall is that he’s a quality winger in all facets of the game,” he said.

“That’s really important for a modern winger. He’s on par with the best in this competition.

“We’ve had this discussion before, Courtnall and I. I keep telling him to run his own race. His time will come.”

Skosan is one of various underrated gems who moved from the Bulls to Ellis Park and gradually made their mark.

Interestingly, the 25-year-old credits the Lions for developing him as an attacking player but in a previous interview mentioned how the Bulls actually laid the platform for him to be a more rounded wing.

During his time at Loftus, Bulls wingers were expected to do the hard yards: defend well and look for work on the field.

They weren’t just there for scoring tries.

A few years later, Skosan has combined those varied skills into a brilliant whole.

But he’s not dwelling on dreams of playing international rugby.

“I’m willing to bide my time. In fact, it’s all about performing at this level for this team,” said Skosan.

“Good performances have their natural reward.”

Lions (vs Waratahs): Andries Coetzee, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Ross Cronje, Warren Whiteley, Ruan Ackermann, Jaco Kriel, Franco Mostert, Andries Ferreira, Ruan Dreyer, Robbie Coetzee, Jacques van Rooyen. Bench: Malcolm Marx, Dylan Smith, Johannes Jonker, Lourens Erasmus, Kwagga Smith, Faf de Klerk, Sylvian Mahuza, Jaco van der Walt.

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