If the Boks could pick one foreigner …

As part of Vodacom Rugby’s BIG Debate, Zelim Nel and Tank Lanning go head to head on which foreigner they would pick for the Boks should a genie pop out of a bottle and grant Allister Coetzee that wish …

Tank Lanning – Beauden Barrett

He’s the best player in the world. Why wouldn’t you?

But I would pick him for a few more reasons than just that.

So many things have gone so badly wrong for the Boks this year that it’s difficult to see a single player making any difference. That said, two of the biggest on field issues for the Boks have been playing too much off 9, and having a flyhalf lurk deep in the pocket on attack.

Narrow and deep. Does it get any easier to defend?

Against Italy, the Boks first receiver from 9 was a backline player on only 35 of the 80 passes (44%). Strauss and Du Toit hogged 9 each, Koch 7, and Alberts 6. Most of them from static starts and lacking team mates.

Lambie got it right once, and guess what? Willie le Roux scored!

Against Ireland, 34 of the 48 passes from the All Black 9 found the flyhalf (71%). And with the 1.87m, 92kg Barrett taking it flat, and at pace, together with those truly sublime passing skills, it just opens up a new world on attack.

Yes it works much better off broken play, especially on the front foot – something the Boks have struggled to get under Allister Coetzee – so they would not see the true Barrett effect. But off a solid scrum and lineout – something the Boks have managed – they would still benefit massively.

That’s if those great hulking tighties will get out the way!

But with a flyhalf who has lost just 3 of the 37 Tests he has played for the All Blacks giving them gears when they do get in the way, I am guessing our flat eared folk might eventually get the message! And what a sight that would be.

CLICK HERE to see who Zelim would pick …

One Comment

  1. The Boks need a man who will impose his will, lead by example, force his team to raise its standards, ensure accountability, who will fight to the bitter end every single game, who hates losing, who inspires the suits, and the common man, of all races. A man who is a performer, and one with integrity, and an edge. I the England, Argentina captains.

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