Backing Mngomezulu, Van Wyk and Co now will benefit Boks later

A number of promising young players have grabbed their chance to shine in the latest edition of the URC.


Looking to the future, we all have a good idea of who will go to the World Cup next year. It’ll be the bulk of the players who did duty in Japan in 2019, but what about after the World Cup? The good news though is there are lots of exciting players coming through the SA rugby system and like always, our future looks bright. ALSO READ: Springboks should back these youngsters on end-of-year-tour Even at United Rugby Championship level, we are seeing coaches looking ahead and not being scared to back some youngsters. And how well these young men…

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Looking to the future, we all have a good idea of who will go to the World Cup next year. It’ll be the bulk of the players who did duty in Japan in 2019, but what about after the World Cup?

The good news though is there are lots of exciting players coming through the SA rugby system and like always, our future looks bright.

ALSO READ: Springboks should back these youngsters on end-of-year-tour

Even at United Rugby Championship level, we are seeing coaches looking ahead and not being scared to back some youngsters. And how well these young men are performing.

The one player on everyone’s lips right now is Sacha Mnogomezulu, the hugely talented Stormers back, who is apparently being chased by England’s Eddie Jones (Mngomezulu also qualifies to play for England).

The chances are good though that the flyhalf will stay in South Africa and look to play for the Boks in future.

What has been encouraging to see is John Dobson backing the young man, and not even at flyhalf. Mngomezulu is still wet behind the ears, but by being thrown into the action now he is learning and getting to grips with international rugby, which will only benefit the Stormers down the line, and add to their depth, while for the Boks it’s also a win-win for when he does get a call-up.

Planning for the future cannot be underestimated, especially if our URC teams and the Boks want to stay at the top of the world rugby pile.

It’s also been good to see a player like prop Sazi Sandi get a proper look-in who, after an up and down few years, is now getting an opportunity. Dobson is certainly looking ahead to the time when Steven Kitshoff won’t be available, and that’s likely to be from after the World Cup.

Sazi Sandi
Sazi Sandi off the Stormers. Picture: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

Two other players who’ve shown plenty of promise in the last few years who are now making a name for themselves are Lions youngsters Ruan Venter and Henco van Wyk. These two boys have grabbed the chance that has come their way and long may they continue to grow and shine.

They will be full of confidence after being backed by their coaches; it is now up to them to perform well week-in and week-out and show they are the real deal. The URC is a tough competition, but how they have taken to it and enjoyed measuring themselves against some of the best in Europe.

The Sharks’ Thaakir Abrahams, only 22, has also caught the eye recently, and at the Bulls prop Francois Klopper and hooker Jan-Hendrik Wessels are the two youngsters who will hope the 2022/23 URC season is one where they elevate their games to the next level.

Women’s Boks

Finally, I hope our Springbok women’s team can find the form to be competitive and win consistently against some of the world’s best teams because that is the only way they are going to get the support from the public.

It’s one thing to represent your country at a World Cup, but quite another to be a force all year round. Just like the Proteas women’s cricketers took their game to a higher level and have now got a growing fan base, so too must the women rugby players climb the ladder and force rugby fans to watch and support them.

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