How do you identify talent at an early stage. A lot of theories exists, but I always said it is impossible at an age of 13.Too many factors to take into account. Just too many unanswered questions.
Until I saw this boy in the Paarl. He was a member of the SWD U13 team. A team that could have easily won the week. Jacobus captivated my attention during their first match. He was not the typically big and fast no 8 that ran over everybody. Just standing around ready to run. He was everywhere, on defence cleaning rucks and yes powerfull with ball in hand. During the second match he shifted to no 5 lock and slotted in with ease. Now the hard Bakkies Botha type that tackled and cleaned like a demon. In the final match vs the Lions Jacobus moved to 7. Again with ease and displaying a class no 7 act. This boy displayed skills far beyond his age. When running either shifting the ball to the correct side, or running like a centre with ball in both hands, ready to pass. His defence was merciless and he seemed to be at the right spot every time to stop his opponents in their tracks. One hard and talented mother bugger.
Will Jacobus become a South African hero of the future. I do not know. Like I said too many unanswered questions. But does he have the abilities and talent. Yes yes and yes. We will follow Jacobus through the age groups and hope to say one day in the future, I Told You So!!!