Five young gems unearthed in this year’s Currie Cup

Five young gems unearthed in this year’s Currie Cup

Sbu Nkosi is potentially everything a coach would want in a Springboks winger. Photo: Louis Botha/Gallo Images.

There are two brothers and a winger who’s already made the Springbok squad in our exciting list!

Despite a reasonably thrilling climax being expected this year with a handful of Springboks present, the Currie Cup has very much become a tournament that develops players.

Most coaches agree nowadays that the hallowed domestic competition is pretty much a springboard to prepare rookies for Super Rugby.

Also read: Currie Cup semifinalists rejoice over ‘Player 23’

We identify the most exciting youngsters to emerge in 2017.

They must be 21 or younger to qualify.

Sbu Nkosi (Winger, The Sharks)

The broader South African rugby public was introduced to this precocious talent during Super Rugby already.

But it’s been his dominance in the Currie Cup that has really grabbed the headlines.

The powerfully built Nkosi has been simply magnificent.

He’s scored eight tries in this campaign, gained 802 running metres and made 15 linebreaks.

Yet the best is that he’s tackle completion rate is a superb 89%.

Nkosi is indeed a complete modern winger and it’s little surprise he’s attracted the Springboks’ attention.

Len Massyn (Flanker, Lions)

The tireless loose forward pips his teammate Marco Janse van Vuren, who plays scrumhalf, because he’s so remarkably consistent.

Despite only being elevated late in the campaign, this 20-year-old has made his mark.

Skillful as a ball-carrier, he’s a versatile attacker with an ability to ghost past defenders though his hands need to improve.

That said, it’s been his sound defence that marks him out as one for the future.

For a team who’s had it’s hiccups with tackling this year, Massyn has found it easy to stop opponents.

Cobus Wiese (Flanker, Western Province)

South African rugby has been crying out for a Danie Rossouw ever since he retired in 2011.

The successful Springbok sides of 2004 to 2009 were characterised by his magnificent versatlity – a man who could play lock, flank and No 8.

Thankfully there are signs that 20-year-old Wiese, a former Junior Springbok, could become a man of similar stature.

His 1.97m, 103kg frame are the ideal dimensions for a jack of all trades.

Jasper Wiese (Flanker, Free State Cheetahs)

Oh brother! There’s two of them?

You bet!

While not quite as well known as his younger sibling, Jasper was one of the finds of the tournament for the Cheetahs.

There wasn’t a lot to be positive about their depth when a B- and C-team had to do duty in the absence of the Pro14 stars but at least they had Wiese.

He’s far more compact that Cobus in terms of his body yet that means he can easily get around the park.

Jasper has proven to be a pest at the breakdowns, a fine ball-carrier and a superb defender.

He’ll be knocking on the Pro14 door soon.

Ruben van Heerden (Lock, Blue Bulls)

There’s Springbok written all over this 19-year-old tower.

Throw in at the deep end because of lack of options at lock, this Junior Springbok has exceeded everyone’s expectations.

Director of rugby John Mitchell demands conditioned athletes capable of consistently delivering intense performances for the full 80 minutes.

Van Heerden has passed the new training regime with flying colours.

He’s already an astute line-out organiser, surprisingly athletic in attacking play and a bone-crunching tackler, who has a completion rate of 92%.

What a beast!




today in print

today in print