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CAPE TOWN – Over the last few weeks, our rugby writers have been debating their Springbok choices from No 15 to No 1 for the upcoming series against the British & Irish Lions. Today the focus is on the No 3 prop …
ASHFAK MOHAMED’S CHOICE: FRANS MALHERBE
The rock of the Springbok scrum at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Malherbe has continued to provide that solidity for the Stormers this season.
And as the season has worn on, he has become more involved in general play too.
He is much more active as a ballcarrier, and as usual, makes his fair share of tackles too.
The scrums will be an intense battle against both Georgia and the Lions, so Bok coach Jacques Nienaber is sure to make use of the ‘Bomb Squad’ as well.
Malherbe does have some serious competition, with Trevor Nyakane, England-based Vincent Koch, Carlu Sadie and Thomas du Toit all capable of starting, so there’s enough back-up for Malherbe to “empty the tank” in the first 50 minutes.
WYNONA LOUW’S CHOICE: FRANS MALHERBE
There are not a helluva lot of positions where you can really say the Springboks don’t have solid depth in.
In fact, they’re well stocked all round, and tighthead prop is no different.
Again, South Africa boasts some quality scrummagers, but Marlherbe is the way to go against the Lions.
MORGAN BOLTON’S CHOICE: VINCENT KOCH
Don’t get me wrong, Frans Malherbe would be a fine choice as well, but I believe that the Stormers No 3 has not had the best season so far this year.
I really do believe he is better than Malherbe.
However, the Boks might just use Koch as an impact player and keep Malherbe on to steady the ship for 60-odd minutes, which is also alright, alright, alright by me.
MIKE GREENAWAY’S CHOICE: FRANS MALHERBE
Otherwise, there are some very good back-ups: Trevor Nyakane is playing well for the Bulls; Thomas du Toit is getting better and better for the Sharks as he matures (he is now 26); and Carlu Sadie at the Lions has been a revelation in the Rainbow Cup.