for quality writing

Ken Borland

De Villiers raves about rampant form of De Allende & Esterhuizen

Posted on May 19, 2022 by Ken

The rampant form of two South African centres based overseas has not gone unnoticed by one of the Springboks’ most celebrated midfielders, with Jean de Villiers this week heaping praise on Damian de Allende and Andre Esterhuizen.

De Allende is the incumbent Springbok No.12 and still a crucial part of the Munster side that is in the European Champions Cup quarterfinals and in fourth place in the United Rugby Championship, while

Esterhuizen has been a roaring success at Harlequins. The former Sharks player is very much a specialist inside centre though, so in terms of the Springboks, he is only likely to get called up if De Allende is injured.

“Damian has been crucified at times for the way he plays and some people only see him as an abrasive midfielder,” De Villiers told a URC media briefing. “He was getting boxed into that role over here.

“But Damian has been phenomenal the way he plays for Munster and the Springboks, the value he brings is massive. He was probably one of South Africa’s top three performers at the last World Cup.

“His distribution skills are fantastic and his defence is aggressive, it’s like having another loose forward in the midfield. He’s also so good at competing on the ground, him slowing the ball down makes it easier for the rest of the defence.

“And there’s no reason to think he’s slowing down, he gave another great performance on the weekend when Munster beat Exeter. Damian is critical for the Springboks and his partnership with Lukhanyo Am is phenomenal,” De Villiers said.

The former Springbok captain, speaking in his capacity as a SuperSport analyst, was also full of praise for Esterhuizen and said his departure from the Sharks has been the reason for many of their attacking frustrations.

“Andre has been a big loss for the Sharks and has been fantastic for Harlequins, his partnership with flyhalf Marcus Smith really just works for both of them.’

“The Sharks have lost both him and Lukhanyo Am and they are lacking in midfield. And with Aphelele Fassi out injured too, they are not able to fire the way they were when those two were available.

“I think Makazole Mapimpi has been affected as well. He and Lukhanyo are just on the same wave-length and the Sharks have missed Mapimpi’s X-factor with Am,” De Villiers said.

Former Scotland lock Jim Hamilton, another URC analyst and someone well acquainted with barging over the opposition during his 63 Tests, is also a big Esterhuizen fan.

“Esterhuizen has been carving it up over here, I can’t believe what a signing he’s been for Quins. He would be one of the first names on my team-sheet,” Hamilton said.

Leave a Reply

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    Mark 7:8 – “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

    Our foundation must be absolute surrender, devotion and obedience to God, rising from pure love for him. Jesus Christ must be central in all things and his will must take precedence over the will of people, regardless of how well-meaning they may be.

    Surrender yourself unconditionally to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then you will be able to identify what is of man with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Then you will be able to serve – in love! – according to God’s will.

↑ Top