South African Rugby: Currie Cup Season 2008

Aljo LudickContributor IJune 9, 2008

With the Super 14 again a disappointment for the South African teams, the local competition is looking to put back what the Super 14 took.

For the first time in years, the traditional strong house of South African rugby has an enormously talented pool of players, and things are looking up in the Cape.

Let's just hope the days of pretty boy WP rugby players are over!

Big signings have made the WP a firm favorite. Percy Montgomery and Willem de Waal will probably be the most influential players fielded by a WP team, which  already contains Jean de Villiers and Schalk Burger. Will this be the turn for S.A. rugby to the good old days?

The Sharks will also be strong contenders, with regulars such as Bismarck du Plessis, Ryan Kankowski, Ruan Pienaar, and Frans Steyn, all seemingly forgotten by newly appointed Springbok coach, Pieter de Villiers--four match winners!

John Plumtree also brings along a new area in Sharks rugby. After some good seasons in Dick Muir, let's hope he can continue where Dick has left off.

The Blue Bulls franchise is lucky to have gain back Victor Matfield, and with a  youthful squad. It looks like the Blue Bulls want to rebuild their supremacy in S.A. rugby with the young teams dominating the season.

Old hands will make it easier for the young guys to learn, but will the excitement of new talent get them to back away from their old fashioned crash-ball attacks? Will it be their downfall yet again, with the new ELV's making it difficult for their big non-mobile forwards?

The Lions are also looking to place a thanks-for-coming Super 14 season behind them. Not to mention they are a very young squad, but a young squad that played in the final last year! Do they have enough to take it all the way this year? The have good backline players, and very competitive forwards in the form of Cobus Grobbelaar, Ernst Joubert, and Willem Alberts.

The defending champion Free State Cheetahs have the biggest task in front of them since turning to a more professional side under Rassie Erasmus. The former coach held nothing back when he talked about the lack of depth in the champion side being the reason he left.

With a lot of players leaving the franchise for the greener money clubs of Europe and Japan, coach Naka Drotske will have to build back a team that has to defend its three-year reign, as well as managing players to keep them in Bloemfontein.

The Currie Cup is looking to be very exciting, and with the Springboks back after the tri-nations, it will become a thriller with five teams all being capable of being No. 1!