Springboks

Naas: Grant my Bok number 10

Peter Grant (File)
Peter Grant (File)
Gerdie Karstens

Kimberley - Peter Grant is his choice for the Springbok number 10 jersey at the World Cup, says Naas Botha.

The former Bok flyhalf and 'kicking kingpin' told Sport24 that Grant, one of the Stormers big stars in Super Rugby, should be the favourite to take centre stage in New Zealand.

"At this stage he must be first choice. What we have seen from him these last number of weeks, is probably the best rugby he's ever played," said Botha.

"Kicking is the determining factor for selection, and there lacks nothing with his kicking."

Botha believes Morne Steyn and Patrick Lambie are just behind Grant, followed by Elton Jantjies and Butch James.

However, many have called for the sacking of Steyn after the Bulls woeful performances over the last number of weeks.

"A team's performances always get linked with a player's performance, but there's always been a question mark over Morne's tactical kicking," says Naas.

"For 99% of the time he kicks the ball straight into the opposition's hands and almost never behind them. If you want to win the World Cup, you have to play clever, and his tactical ability could count against him."

Acording to Botha, Lambie has already shown that he deserves a place in the Bok side and Jantjies and James should also not be written off.

"There is definitely a difference in the games where Lambie played for the Sharks, and those games where they were without him. The Currie Cup final was another indication of his ability."

Botha feels that Jantjies still has lots to learn.

"He was brilliant in the Currie Cup, and everyone asked afterward if he would be able to maintain that form in Super Rugby.

"He still hasn't delivered the same quality of play and the Lions have lost three matches due to his poor kicking. He will have to come up with something brilliant if he wants to go to the World Cup."

James currently plays for Bath in the English Premiership, and the fact that Bok coach Peter de Villiers hardly gets to see him play, could count against him when the Springbok team is picked.

"I actually follow the Premiership and see quite a lot of Butch. The overseas commentators have criticised him over the last number of weeks for his tackling," says Botha.

"He's not playing poorly, but Bath is currently one of the lower teams in the Premiership, which makes it tough for him. But, I don't doubt his ability as a flyhalf."

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