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Best No.12: A partner for Die Doring

Who must be Danie Gerber's partner in the mid-field, not just for the Boks, but, also for the World XV?

'Die Doring van Despatch' won easily with only Brian O'Driscoll in the running.

Both were admittedly brilliant!

Where your outside centre has more pace than the inside man, runs better lines and has to have finishing abilities as well, most of them could also play wing.

Danie Gerber did at provincial level. Mannetjies Roux, Jason Little, Stirling Mortlock and Jacques Fourie – to mention but a few – did at test level on occasion.

He also has a much more difficult and important role on defence, as he has to cover channels three and four, while he must also consider it is in those channels that the opposing fullback mostly join the action.

Best No.12: A partner for Die DoringBest No.12: A partner for Die DoringSo he has to keep three attackers on the radar.

The inside centre's role has changed over the years.

Some prefer him as 'your second flyhalf', so must have some kicking abilities, must be quick off the mark, have great organisational and distribution skills.

However, a lot of teams started picking big crash-ball inside centres to get their team over the gain line.

Direct rugby moved away from silky and clever centres like Tim Horan and Peter Whipp, to more Frans Steyn, Trevor Halstead, Sonny Bill Williams and Pieter Muller.

My best Bok inside centre is a toss-up between Peter Whipp and Jean de Villiers.

I pick De Villiers, as he had more speed and strength.

Both had good vision and great finisher.

Whipp, I loved as he had a good step, great distributor and created opportunities on the outside. A classic intelligent centre.

In the World XV Tim Horan is my choice.

He was not big, ala crash-ball type of centre. He had great speed off the mark, brilliant feet and hands and could read the play.

Who will forget how he, at will, broke the Bok defence during the 1999 World Cup semifinal?

Phillippe Sella a close second.

AussieBoer (Kevin D)


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Best No.12: A partner for Die Doring


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