Home Opinion What to do with a fit again Whiteley?

What to do with a fit again Whiteley?


Warren Whiteley has been a great leader on and off the field for the Golden Lions, Lions and Springboks, but I find it very hard to see him replacing firstly Kolisi as Springbok captain and secondly Vermeulen at the number 8 jumper.

It was a great year for Whiteley in 2017 when he played some of his best rugby for the Lions in Super Rugby and deservedly was named by then Springbok coach Coetzee, as the captain for the Springboks.

The captaincy was short lived as Whiteley was initially only supposed to have been out for six to eight weeks when he injured himself while training with the Boks during their three-match June Test series against France last year.

Almost a year later and due to a misdiagnosis and various complications, Whiteley had been earmarked to return for the crucial three-Test June series against England, but that also did not happened.

Whiteley did not take part in much of Super Rugby this year and although originally cleared to go on a four-match Australasian tour in April after recovering from the knee injury he picked up against the Blues earlier in the season, Whiteley was withdrawn from the squad after re-injuring the same knee.

In the meantime Vermeulen has returned from France and have been a revelation at the back of the scrum for the Springboks and one found it very hard to see him being replaced by Whiteley.

There is the option for Erasmus to move Vermeulen to the side of the scrum to make way for Whiteley at the back.

Erasmus has made a masterclass move when he appointed Kolisi as the captain for the Springbok against the English team.

This just not brought the nation together but has been the right call which Coetzee should have made last year when he appointed Etzebeth as captain.

It would be very difficult to see how Erasmus can justify given the captaincy back to Whiteley when he do return to the side.

For Whiteley it will be an important few months ahead to show not just that he is back to his best but also that he is good enough for the Springbok jumper after the lengthy lay-off.

Vermeulen is likely to not be available for all the Rugby Championships test with him going to play a short stint in Japan.

This gives Whiteley the perfect opportunity to proof to the coach and himself that he is ready for the Springboks and the World Cup next year.

Personally I would not have a Springbok squad without Whiteley but it will take another masterclass from Erasmus to find the right place for him in the squad and in his leadership group.

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  1. Nice problem to have. Someone will get injured or go off-form over next 2 years. Need 30 top-class players for RWC so all good.

  2. What is the dilemma… he is better bench option than Notshe and Vermeulen will not be available for all the TRC games… not rocket science…

  3. Also see allot on social media that many believe he will retain captaincy, cannot see that happen without Kolisi being injured

  4. @Jacques:

    Too be fair I do not rate either of them as their best in position. Whiteley is too ‘light’ for test rugby and Kolisi is not an open-sider.

    As an side… is that your boy leading the Superbru?

  5. @bryce_in_oz:

    Neither was Pienaar nor John Smit. Players like McCaw and Eales that are the best in their positions and good leaders are not that easy to come by. I remember long conversations about John Smit and Bismarck.

    Kolisi is respected by not.only his fellow players but also the fans (except those that belief he is there for political reasons). I met him 2 months ago and how he interacted with my son earned him alot of respect from both of us. Not an ounce of arrogance in that guy. Humble to the core.

  6. Yep, was criminal that smit selected over Bismarck for 2011 RWC which Boks would’ve won. Only mistake made by The Great One – but it was a whopper.

  7. @cab: He also selected Adi Jacobs over Jacque Fourie and put Smit in as a loosehead you vaginal discharge.

    It seems that everyone has forgotten the stats from three weeks ago that had Kolisi as the sixth best loose forward by statistics in the country.. or his fucken awful form at Super Rugby…

    Well done animals…. live in an ever existing present and be little bleating media controlled sheep….

  8. Nothing.

    Whitely is to small to be an international 8 and the Boks already have a captain.

    If Vermeulen is out, you can PSdT at 8 and duPreez at 7.

  9. I would like to first see Whitely string a few games together before we even think of his involvement with the Boks. He has been the personification of the “walking wounded” for more than a year now. Hopefully he can recover fully and not get injured again by the time the Championship comes along.

  10. @cab:

    ‘Unknown entity’? Have you not watched any Super Rugby for the last three seasons. He is one third of the most impotent South African loose-forward trio along with Carr and Kolisi who have been carried the entire season by their T5. The guy is not a 7 nor an 8 and way too light and weak in the tackle-zone… even his own coaches have admitted as much.

    Just another Mahoje but quicker… he would be better used in 7’s where he should stay whilst real impact flankers bench the test side.

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