Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer


OPINION: Is Deon Fourie the right hooker fit for Boks ahead of World Cup?

Going into the World Cup the Boks will likely be taking just five loose forwards and three hookers.


At the ripe old age of 35 stalwart Deon Fourie is set to make just his second ever appearance for the Springboks, if he plays off the bench against the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship on Saturday.

Fourie enjoyed a superb season for the Stormers in the United Rugby Championship and was deservedly rewarded with his first ever Bok call-up, but it was due to his exploits at loose forward where he currently plies his trade.

However on Saturday he will be playing as the back-up hooker to Malcolm Marx, a position he played for many years before his switch to the loose, but one he has not played in for almost as many as he did.

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By the time the World Cup rolls around next year Fourie will be 37, and well into the twilight of his career, so the question must be asked what the Boks plans are for him going forward.

Earlier this week Bok coach Jacques Nienaber admitted that they were looking to see if Fourie would be able to make next year’s showpiece event, with them hoping he could fulfil a similar role to that of Schalk Brits during the 2019 event.

But Brits was an out and out hooker, who could cover loose forward in a pinch, while Fourie is probably the opposite as a recognised loose forward who can cover hooker.

Left at home

Going into the World Cup the Boks will likely be taking just five loose forwards and three hookers, meaning that someone would have to be left at home to fit Fourie in.

Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Duane Vermeulen, Kwagga Smith and Jasper Wiese are currently the five front runners for the loose forward berths and it is highly unlikely any of them would be left out for Fourie.

Bongi Mbonambi and Marx are then the frontline hookers that will go, should both be fully fit, meaning current third choice hooker Joseph Dweba would miss out for Fourie.

But it is strange that Fourie would even be considered as the third choice hooker as it is a specialist position and needs someone that is playing there consistently and with youngsters like Johan Grobbelaar waiting in the wings, it would make sense for them to be backed first.

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