Players set to use the Currie Cup as a stepping stone

Players set to use the Currie Cup as a stepping stone

Historically, South African players could use the Currie Cup as their stepping stone into the Springbok. Super Rugby has since taken over that role from the oldest rugby competition in the world but that does not mean that a fine showing in the Currie Cup will be overlooked. 

A strong showing could see fringe Springboks being called into the Springbok or lead to Super Rugby or PRO14 contract. We hand-picked a few players who we think will make the most of their opportunity in the competition. 

Jamba Ulengo - Blue Bulls

Ulengo will look to continue the form he displayed in the closing stages of the 2018 Super Rugby season after a serve hamstring almost cut the winger's career short.

The speedster could force his way back into the Springbok squad, especially with all the injuries currently plaguing the current crop of Springbok outside backs. 

Rudy Paige - Free State Cheetahs

The former Bulls scrumhalf made the move to Bloemfontein after being deemed surplus to requirements under John Mitchell. 

Paige is yet to feature for the Cheetahs senior side and whether it's in the Currie Cup or PRO14 he will want to push for Springbok re-call having last featured for the national side in November last year.

Kwagga Smith - Golden Lions

Smith is arguably the unluckiest Lion to be excluded from the Springbok squad after a stellar season with the Lions in Super Rugby.

The busy flanker made his test debut against Wales but has been left out of the Rugby Championship squad and will want to claim a recall and contest for a spot in the congested Springbok back row.

Smith's fellow teammates Ruan Combrinck, Andries Coetzee and Courtnall Skosan will have similar goals. 

Devon Martinus - Griquas 

The former Springbok u20 will be looking to further his reputation as a strong scrummaging and mobile front rower.

Another solid season from the loosehead could see him attract the interest of a Super Rugby or PRO14 club. 

Curwin Bosch - Natal Sharks

The Sharks utility back is another player who can feel hard done by after his exclusion from the Springboks squad after Damian Willemse effectively took his place in the team as cover for fullback and flyhalf.

Bosch arguably has a better boot than Willemse but his defence has reportedly kept him out of the squad. A strong start to the Currie Cup campaign could earn him a recall especially with Willie Le Roux likely to return to England midway through the Rugby Championship. 

Fellow teammates Chiliboy Ralepelle, Cameron Wright, Dan du Preez and Robert du Preez will also look to force their way back into the test set-up. 

Christopher Smith - Pumas

The former Maties flyhalf was extremely successful in the Varsity Cup since making his debut in the competition in 2017.

He has since gone on to represent the Pumas in the Supersport Challenge Cup and was the regular starter in the side that went to claim the title.

The 23-year-old will look to display his talents and push for Super Rugby or PRO14 contract. 

Juarno Augustus - Western Province 

The former Springbok u20 spent the entire Super Rugby season on the sidelines after injuring his back during the Stormers pre-season.

Six months later and the promising no.8 will want to make a strong claim for a starting jersey the Stormers squad next season following the departure of Nizaam Carr and maybe even a place on the plane for the Springboks end of year tour.


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