PRETORIA - If Super Rugby form is the only consideration Springbok coach Allister Coetzee will go by in selecting his team to play France in the June Incoming Series then his will be a rather difficult task.
There have been plenty of stand out performances this season especially from the Lions and Stormers while the Sharks players have stepped up too.
Sharks flyhalf Curwin Bosch has stood head and shoulders above any of the standing number 10s in the country and even though many have doubts about his ability to defend, nobody can question the immense talent and big match temperament the Eastern Cape youngster possesses.
While barely out of his teenage years, Bosch’s tactical ability to turn a game on its head, and his booming boot, makes him one of the most exciting flyhalf prospects in world rugby.
Coetzee will be spoilt for choice amongst the backs and even though injuries have denied him the services of influential players like Handré Pollard, Pat Lambie and Rohan Janse van Rensburg, there have been some blockbusting performances from the likes of Stormers centre EW Viljoen, Sharks centre Lukhanyo Am and glimpses of returning to form from the injury prone Lionel Mapoe and Francois Venter.
Sharks wing Kobus van Wyk might feel aggrieved at not making the team, but it's because competition is fierce.
In the pack Coetzee will have to consider his backrow combinations based on the game-plan he wants to employ and fortunately for him he is spoilt for choice with players like Chris Cloete and Jean-Luc du Preez good enough to start but have been eclipsed by the versatility and consistency of Lions and Stormers players.
Starting team: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Wilco Louw.
Bench: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Ox Nche, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Warren Whiteley, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Elton Jantjies, Cheslin Kolbe.