Ball stealer ready to snatch the Cup
Heinrich Brüssow, who burst onto the international scene in 2009 with his tremendous ability to secure turnovers and create penalties for the Springboks, often gave national coach Peter de Villiers a serious headache in deciding who to field at flank: Brussow or former IRB World Player of the Year Schalk Burger.
Former Springbok centre Gcobani Bobo heaped praise on Brüssow, saying he was key to the squad’s fortunes in the World Cup in New Zealand.
“Brüssow is by far the best open side flank in the world. He is vital in garnering points for the team and the amount of ball he secures for the team is tremendous.
“His work rate is phenomenal, and he is such a professional. He makes sure that he is always well conditioned on the field of play. While at Western Province he was one of the guys we used to plan for to make sure that he did not disrupt us,” Bobo said.
Brüssow was part of the Cheetahs squad who shared the Currie Cup in 2006 with the Blue Bulls, before playing in the 2007 Currie Cup final against the Golden Lions, scoring a crucial try and helping the team to a 20-18 win.
In 2008 he was voted best open-side flanker in the Super 14 and Currie Cup. This earned him a call-up to the Springboks squad for the November 2008 tour to the British Isles.
In March 2010 Brüssow injured his cruciate knee-ligament in a Super 14 game against the Hurricanes, which kept him out of international rugby until August this year – against New Zealand in Port Elizabeth.
And what a magnificent return to the big stage it was. Brüssow was highly effective in the Boks’ face-saving win.
Facebook was abuzz after the All Blacks’ game with fans joking: “That Brüssow should be arrested for stealing so many balls from the rucks.”