Ross Roche
Senior sports writer
3 minute read
24 Jun 2022
1:36 pm

Currie Cup final: The big unions will be watching these five players

Ross Roche

In a thrilling Currie Cup final, the big South African unions should be keeping an eye on these five players.

Eddie Fouche of the Pumas. Picture: Gordon Arons/Gallo Images

With the country’s five big unions set to compete in the top two European club rugby tournaments from next season, they will be looking to beef up their squads over the next few months.

With the Currie Cup final set to be battled out between the Griquas and Pumas, two of the so-called smaller unions, the bigger unions will be keeping an eye on some of those players which will be in action this weekend.

Here are five players that could be snapped up if they continue to impress during the final.

ALSO READ: Smaller unions success good for SA rugby

Eddie Fouche

Pumas utility back Eddie Fouche has enjoyed a solid couple of seasons at the Pumas and could be an attractive option for most teams. Fouche was originally at the Lions, where he didn’t receive game time and eventually moved to the Pumas, however his impressive performances for them saw the Lions bring him back to Johannesburg on loan at the start of the URC.

Fouche however went back to the Pumas for the Currie Cup and has been a major driving force in their impressive campaign so far, helping them reach the final and will be eager to help them go one step further this weekend.

Sango Xamlashe

Another player who was unable to break into the system at a big union but has flourished once given game time at a smaller one, Sango Xamlashe will lead the Griquas in this weekend’s final.

Xamlashe led last year’s Tuks side to the Varsity Cup title, before trying to break into the Bulls setup, however that didn’t happen and he made the move to the Griquas. The 23-year-old has enjoyed a brilliant campaign and proven his leadership qualities, with him taking over the reins from Niel Otto, who couldn’t recover from concussion in time, in the showpiece final, and will hope to inspire his side to a win.

Munier Hartzenberg

It has been an impressive breakout debut season for Griquas wing Munier Hartzenberg, who has become a first team regular over the Currie Cup season. The 24-year-old has made his mark with some powerful runs and a great turn of pace, which has seen him score a number of tries over the season.

He has proven himself under the high ball, and also has a solid step and a good offload, making him an enticing prospect for any team looking for a deadly finisher. Hartzenberg will be hoping to end his season with a bang on Saturday.

Eduan Swart

At just 21-years-of-age Eduan Swart has become the Pumas first choice hooker, impressing during a solid 2022 Currie Cup campaign. Swart made his Pumas debut in January last year at the age of 20 and has since made himself an indispensable member of their squad.

Due to his young age and his impressive showings in the Currie Cup, Swart has an abundance of talent that can be tapped into and could easily be brought into one of the bigger unions as an understudy, with the future in mind. He will want to end off this season in style with a winners medal.

Zander du Plessis

If any team needs a big boot they need to look no further than Griquas flyhalf Zander du Plessis. Hailing from the famed Grey Bloem, which has produced monster kickers Frans Steyn and Johan Goosen, among many others, Du Plessis showed his immense talent with a huge 65m penalty for his side against the Pumas earlier this season.

Du Plessis can also slot in at centre and fullback, making his versatility a big asset for any side looking for someone who can play almost anywhere in the backline. He will be looking to lead his side to victory on Saturday to cap a strong campaign.