Jean-Luc Du Preez (SHA) BACKROW: The return of the better twin doesn’t appear far away. The most recent reports have him “a few weeks away” as of the 26th of March.
My interpretation of this means we will potentially see him as early as next week, or more than likely the following. Either way the Sharks have been keeping pretty tight lipped on his return. My guess is he has been playing this whole time as Dan in order to get them both into the Sprinkboks squad of the Rugby World Cup.
As last years’ second top backrower, pick him up and hold him if you can!
Toni Pulu (BRU) OUTSIDE BACK: The Chiefs turned Brumbies winger has been named to return straight into the starting lineup after his Round 1 cheek injury.
If his form of the last few seasons is anything to get by, he is a quality pickup who should average in the mid to high 30s. However my one concern is how the Brumbies may utilise him
As it has been seen throughout the first 7 weeks of the season, the wingers down in Canberra dont seem to be getting a lot of ball. In fact Muirhead has had the most carries out of the Brumbies outside backs and he has touched the ball only 23 times in comparison to the likes of van der Heever (73), Nanai (61) and Lam (52).
Luke Jacobson (CHI) BACKROW: How good was the ex-U20 All Blacks’ captain on the weekend?
In just his second start of the season, Jacobson showed his potential and walked away with 72 points. He made 14 carries, busted 4 tackles, took 3 lineouts, tossed 2 offloads, stole 2 turnovers and made 17 tackles! The beast was everywhere.
This kid has huge potential and is worth a pickup if he is still available.
Damian Willemse (STO) FLYHALF: A shift back into the starting fullback role has thrown Willemse’s name back in the ring as a potential as a top tier flyhalf option.
His average for the season is underwhelming, coming in as the 6th flyhalf with an average of 23.2 in comparison to Beauden Barrett who sits atop the list with 39.
As a starting fullback however, his average shoots up to 35 with scores of 14, 42 and 49.
Willemse loves to run with ball in hand and is shift to 15 has freed him up to spot space and have a crack. When his role is as the main distributor, his running game is cramped and we don’t get to see him open up in space.
Sevu Reece (CRU) OUTSIDE BACK: Reece has been handed his second start for the season. His first? A night that Solomon Alaimalo will never forget. Not only did the Crusaders hand the Chiefs a hiding, but Reece knocked Alaimalo into tomorrow with the hit of the season to date.
Reece walked away with a try and 106 points this week… can he do it again?
I sure hope so.
Amanaki Mafi (SUN) BACKROW: A brief fortnight of appearances sparked the interest of many Draft Rugby managers, as everyone started to hope of last years 3rd top backrower featuring in their lineup.
Their dreams were squashed when he failed to receive a VISA to travel for the Sunwolves 2 week tour to Australia.
Some managers out there are still holding out hope… but be aware, 3 of his next 5 games are in Aus. Throw in two byes over the next 7 weeks and he may only feature 2 times throughout that period. If his last and only two matches throughout 2019 are anything to go by, if he does take the field it will likely be off the bench.
Trade him for the best you can get!
Written by Nelson Dale