Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby journalist
1 minute read
11 Apr 2014
6:00 am

Ackermann denies Springbok lock crisis

Rudolph Jacobs

He can't agree with the sentiment that there is currently a potential lock crisis in the Springbok camp, says former Bok second row and current Lions coach, Johan Ackermann.

FILE PICTURE: Johan Ackermann (Lions Coach). Picture: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

With both the Sharks Pieter-Steph du Toit and the Lions Franco van der Merwe injured and out for the season, and the Stormers Eben Etzebeth still on the recovery list, the concern has been growing.

“It is obviously a pity to lose both Pieter-Steph and Franco to injury who were probably the top No 5 locks locally,” said Ackermann.

“It’s all about if a guy can see the space, while Etzebeth is very good on the deck, and a guy like Flip van der Merwe showed in the past he can call the lineouts from the No 5 position.”

But Bok coach Heyneke Meyer also still has the options of veteran Victor Matfield or sushi-Bok Andries Bekker.

“There’s also a guy like Lodewyk de Jager who’s playing really well,” he said.

“But when you have guys around 2m like Eben and Flip you can’t go wrong, so I don’t believe there’s really a crisis at lock.”

While Ackermann also mentioned the Lions’ Franco Mostert as a possible No 5 in future although he plays in the No 4 shirt at the moment, the Sharks have for instance used flank Willem Alberts in the No 4 position.

“And then we haven’t even talked about Victor and Andries,” said Ackermann.

“Maybe they will look at Flip to make him a more permanent fixture.”

Youngsters like the Sharks Stephan Lewies and the Stormers’ Ruan Botha still have some way to go in terms of experience.