Peter ‘Bash’ Grant has had a sensational Super Rugby season, clinching victory for the Stormers on multiple occasions. He is brilliant on defence, inspirational on attack and his golden boot secured the number one spot on the SA conference log for the Stormers for many weeks.
Considering his spectacular form, one would assume that Grant would be an obvious choice for the Springboks. However Morne Steyn is not going down without a fight. He recently declared in an interview with SA Rugby magazine that he “won’t give up” his Springbok jersey. However considering Steyn’s recent form, the Springbok flyhalf jersey isn’t his to give up.
Steyn had a phenomenal season in 2009, however since then he has been inconsistent and 2012 saw even his perfect kicking record crumble. His kicking capabilities can no longer compensate for his average defence and lack of attacking flair. The Springbok jersey should be reserved for the players in the best form and that is not Morne Steyn.
Grant has played consistent, great rugby since 2009. However injuries at crucial points in the competitions kept the green and gold dream just out of reach. It’s hard to believe that he doesn’t have more Springbok caps. Grant has been on the fringe of SA Rugby for years, always deemed good but never quite good enough for a starring role. It’s truly unfortunate that he was stuck behind Butch James and Morne Steyn for so long. Grant would have been the perfect option when the Springbok coaching staff moved Ruaan Pienaar to flyhalf in order to accommodate Fourie du Preez. Given the opportunity, Grant could have flourished into one of the world’s best fyhalves. Grant plays like a world class player, there is no reason why he should not enjoy the benefits.
Grant is in amazing form and plays up a storm week after week. Heyneke Meyer would be making a huge mistake not to at least give Grant the opportunity to prove to him, the rest of the coaching staff and a substantial portion of the South African public that he is the best man for the job.
Many people think that Patrick Lambie is the best suited for the position. There is no denying that he is having an incredible season, even managing to be the only point scorer for the Sharks in last week’s game against the Highlanders. His kicking is sound and he definitely has the coveted x-factor. He is a genuine inspiration for young up-and-coming players. Nevertheless he could stand to do with some maturing before being handed a starting position and playing off the bench for the Boks would be greatly beneficial to not only Lambie but SA Rugby as a whole.
That being said, South African rugby currently has tremendous depth at 10. The Cheetahs’ Johan Goosen has been a revelation this season, it’s heartbreaking that his run was cut short due to shoulder injury he sustained against the Hurricanes, ruling him out for four months. He would have been a great addition to the Sprigbok side during the incoming tour and the Rugby Championship. Hopefully his return to the field will be rewarded with a Springbok cap or two on the end of year tour.
Last year, the writers at SA Rugby magazine were very vocal about their thoughts on who should wear the number 10 jersey for the Boks. They were adamant that Butch James was the best option at flyhalf. That thought should not even be entertained. The Springboks need to look to the future of South African Rugby and they can’t do that if they continue to try to recreate the team that won the world cup in 2007.
It’s a no-brainer! Peter Grant is in the best form and is therefore best suited for the Boks. He ticks all the boxes: he has impenetrable defence, he is magical in terms of attack and has a steller kicking record. Bash does not only deserve to be a Bok, but the Boks deserve to have Bash.