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Kanko’s Bok lifeline?

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby, The Rugby Championship on 25 Jun 2013 at 09:56
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Two pieces of interesting news have come out today to give me just an inkling of hope for Ryan Kankowski, whose 2013 rugby season thus far can best be described as “dire”.

According to reports, Kankowski’s Japanese deal will not prevent him playing for the Springboks this season, even though the terms of the agreement did preclude Bok involvement last year. It was widely believed last year that had Kankowski not been unavailable, Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer would have used him, after a run of superb form for the Sharks in the latter half of their Super Rugby campaign. Meyer has again shown willingness to involve Kankowski in his plans, pretty much despite all odds, in including him straight from his Sharks-imposed wilderness to join the Springbok training squad earlier this year.

So, despite some silly rumours to the contrary, Heyneke Meyer is a Kankowski fan – he has shown this by including the player and pulling him closer even when Kankowski couldn’t get a look in for his province. Add to this nugget, the fact that Meyer’s first-choice eighthman, Duane Vermeulen, is still sidelined with injury and his second-choice, Pierre Spies, has now also been ruled out for the year. Meyer told the media that he had excluded Kankowski from his squad for the incoming test series due to concerns about the player’s long-term availability, but that may also have been a nice way of saying that his form wasn’t good enough to win selection ahead of Spies and the other slew of good loose forwards available. With Spies now out of the picture, Kankowski surely must come back into the equation?

The Sharks have meanwhile confirmed that Kankowski is available for selection this weekend. Surely with arch-antagonist John Plumtree set to play no more than a ceremonial role in the final 3 weeks, there’s no reason not to give Kankowski the number 8 jersey back? Kanko has shown faith, despite all provocation, in re-signing with the Sharks for next year, so I’d think the least we can do is give him three games back in his best position to prove to the national selectors that he deserves a Rugby Championship look-in.


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