Is Cameron Hanekom Goat Material?

Henry

When Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus names his Springbok squad for the upcoming test matches against Wales, Ireland and the Rugby Championship, it will come as no surprise if the Bulls’ Cameron Hanekom’s name is also read out.

The 22-year-old Hanekom, who excelled at Charlie Hofmeyr in Ceres at school and later also played for Paarl Boys’ High, was earmarked for bigger things from an early age.

In 2019, he was recruited by SA Rugby to the Elite player development program for o. 17 players involved and was part of the SA Rugby academy program in 2022 before being selected for the Junior Springboks (under 20 team).

He is skilled, fast, rock hard, fit and hardworking.

Yes, of course it helps that he plays behind a winning kit with the Bulls, because it is much easier to dominate in a team that is on the front foot.

But take a look at his skills and how he performs his basic duties.

His rock-solid defence, ability to slow down the opposition’s possession and retain possession, make him, Elrigh Louw and Marco van Staden some of the best loose forward combinations in world rugby.

The Bulls coach, Jake White, who contributes a lot to his development, regards him as the Bulls’ Josh van der Flier (Ireland’s forward flank) and that is why he is also on Erasmus’ Springbok radar.

He is thriving in the city of Jakaranda while honing his skills.

According to the United Rugby Championship’s statistics, in 12 games this year he carried the ball 94 times, advanced 362 meters with it and beat 21 defenders.

He made 88 tackles, completing 92% of them and also turned over 12 possessions.

With Duane Vermeulen’s retirement and Jasper Wiese’s suspension of six games, Erasmus is looking for a suitable replacement.

The current Bok Kwagga Smith is at the front of the line, with the Stormers’ Evan Roos and the Bulls’ Elrigh Louw also close to the front.

But don’t be surprised if Hanekom and the Sharks’ Pepsi Buthelezi are also involved.