Who Are The Leading Loosehead Props In South Africa @ 1stXV Level?

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Bart Schoeman and I analysed most of the available footage of 1stXV games (2020) during the "lockdown" weeks and attempted to identify our top players in each position.

The Top loosehead props we identified were: 1. Nizaar Nasier (Paul Roos), 2. Oscar Myataza (Hudson Park), 3. Zukisa Sali (Brandwag), 4. Thansville Mayman (Garsfontein), 5. Daniel van Huizen (Northwood).

The following boys also caught our attention: Jurie O'Connel (Waterkloof), Abraham Reyneke (Paarl Boishaai) and Juan Els (Grey College).

Please keep in mind that we ould only evaluate players of which we had footage available and our selections were based on the performance on that day. Furthermore, we do not claim that we know all and if you disagree you are welcome to contact me (carl@ruggas.co.za) or Bart (bart@sportscon365.com). If you feel that we missed a player please send details of where we can find the videos and/or links of videos. Coaches and parents are more than welcome to discuss the players and evaluation with the match analysis.


Listen to the discussion regarding the loosehead at 5:50 in the above RuggasTV episode.

Please keep in mind that any technical and positional evaluation of a player must be reinforced by the following aspects for a player to grow in future and especially after school:

1) Strength of character. Any successful sportsman will need to apply himself in honesty, teamwork and full support of the system that he works under.
2) Work ethic and personal application to improve himself, in sport and off the field. He must be ‘coachable’
3) Lifestyle and value-driven. Being a sportsman full time, semi- or full professional, requires a dedicated lifestyle change to reach set goals and to become a better human being.

The Loosehead Prop - The loosehead prop is positioned to the left of the hooker and his head will be on the outside of the scrum when it engages. The loosehead prop's main role is to provide stability at the scrum and support the hooker in quickly winning the ball. At the line-out, the loosehead prop's role is to support the jumper as they compete for the ball. They are usually positioned at the front of the line-out. They are also often involved in lifting jumpers when receiving kick-offs. While scrummaging is still seen as their main responsibility, modern props are also expected to contribute in the attack and defence.

Position-specific criteria and performance-specific requirements.

1) He must be able to destabilise the opposition's scrums and try to separate opposition's tighthead from the hooker.
2) He must have good distribution, contact and support skills.
3) Aggression and high intensity are also expected from a loosehead prop.
4) At ruck time, loosehead props assume the role of both the cleaner and also ball carrier. His job will be to ensure that possession is always protected by clearing tacklers and other opposition away from the ball but being at rucks before the tighthead prop he often acts as a mobile carrier or first supporter/cleaner.

Set pieces
1) The loosehead must be a strong scrummager. It is essential that he understands how to work and manipulate his tight head opponent and must be able to manipulate the scrum technically.
2) He must provide an attacking platform at scrums (strong left arm with elbow up, strong neck tucked in, with a strong core so that he keeps square hips and stay connected to the hooker and also must keep scrum shape for the duration of the game).
1) During lineouts, he needs to be light on his feet to move around to the assigned jumper with quick and explosive support.
2) He also needs a whole lot of strength to lift the lineout jumpers and have enough strength to bring them back down to ground safely.
3) At mauls, props have the responsibility of protecting the lifted player so that the ball can safely be transferred to the back. Once the maul has formed, props need to drive to get it moving forward before the referee calls for the scrum-half to use it.
4) The loosehead must have good reactions as he normally services the front of the lineout either as a catcher of the short quick ball or to move and support or to cover deflected balls.
1) As a ball carrier, it will be expected from the loosehead to generate some forward momentum and have the necessary running and explosive skills.
2) He must be a skilful handler of the ball as it is expected from the loosehead to often carries the ball.
1) Props are not expected to make as many tackles as the other forwards, but the intensity of these tackles matter. Props play a game of inches, and if you are driven back in a tackle, you are not doing your job correctly.
2) Props should enter every tackle situation with the intent that they will dominate and move opposition backwards.
3) On defence, props have the direct responsibility of preventing their opponents from doing what was described above.

Games watched: Milnerton vs Melkbosstrand, Brackenfell vs Durbanville, Bellville vs Stellenberg, SACS vs Boland Landbou, Wynberg vs Paul Roos, Rondebosch vs Paarl Boishaai, Paarl Gim vs Bishops, Affies vs Helpmekaar, Dale vs Muir, Hudsonpark vs Nico Malan, Queen's vs Pearson, Grey HS vs Brandwag, Kingswood vs Selborne, St Andrew's vs Framesby, Graeme vs Marlow, Gonubie vs Mzzomhle, Chief Boklein vs Aplandale, Queen's vs Stirling, Grens vs Toise, Cambridge vs de Vos Malan, Dale vs Port Rex, Selborne vs Hudson Park, Menlopark vs Ben Vorster. Boishaai vs Monnas, Affies vs Diamantveld, Dale College vs Muir College, Grey College vs Welkom Gim, St Alban's vs Kroonstad AHS, EG Jansen vs Invitation XV, Garsfontein vs Kempton Park, Frikkie Meyer vs Stellenberg, Montana vs Die Anker, Waterkloof vs Outeniqua, Boland Landbou vs Middelburg HTS, Pretoria Boys High vs Paarl Gimnasium.

Next week we will include another 18 games of which we received footage of.