‘He is the next Springbok flyhalf’ – South Africa legend picks Handre Pollard successor

Dylan Coetzee
Split with Sacha Feinburg-Mngomezulu and Victor Matfield.

Split with Sacha Feinburg-Mngomezulu and Victor Matfield.

South African great Victor Matfield has earmarked Stormers starlet Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu as the next Springboks fly-half.

The former Junior Springboks skipper has already made over 20 appearances for the Stormers since making his debut only minutes into a quarter-final against Edinburgh in the inaugural United Rugby Championship.

He would go on to lead the Baby Boks to a very successful U20 Summer Series that year and it would not be long until he was brought into the Springbok set-up for the end-of-year tour in 2022. The playmaker would start in a losing effort for South Africa ‘A’ against Munster leaving the field with an injury during the game.

Need chances at flyhalf

Feinburg-Mngomezulu, despite playing all of his youth career at fly-half, has primarily been deployed as a first centre at the Stormers to accommodate for the brilliance of Manie Libbok and when playing together the youngster has taken on the kicking duties.

A series of niggling injuries has kept the 22-year-old from stringing together an extended run of games this season but he was still included in the Springboks‘ first alignment camp.

Matfield sees a massive future for Feinberg-Mngomezulu in the Springbok fly-half role with his impressive goalkicking one of the key positives for the star.

“I’m a big fan of Sacha,” Matfield told the United Rugby Championship online round table discussion. “I think he is the next Springbok flyhalf. I would like to see the Stormers give him a bit more of a chance at flyhalf, not just at inside centre.

“He is a bit bigger than Manie. I think he can attack the advantage line and kicks well. As a schoolboy, his kicking at the posts was superb. I would like to see the Stormers ask him to take over their goalkicking job.

“Sacha was excellent at U20 level. At junior level, he was in a different class, but at senior level, I haven’t seen much of him in the No 10 jersey.”

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Star potential

There is no doubting the potential of the Stormer with John Dobson once describing him as a copy of Damian Willemse.

Matfield insists that he likes the way Libbok plays but is concerned about him stepping up after the fly-half struggled with goal-kicking form in the Rugby World Cup leading to Handre Pollard’s inclusion in the starting line-up.

The Springbok centurion feels it is Feinberg-Mngomezulu’s time to shine.

“I really like Manie and he has a lot of good qualities, but there is a lot of talk about whether he can take the step up,” Matfield said. “He’s had a few chances.

“Manie is great. But I would like to see Sacha get more opportunities.”

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