Timo Swiel - A blast from the past...Back at WP

Forum » Rugby » Timo Swiel - A blast from the past...Back at WP

May 27, 2020, 00:10

Timo was hyped by many on this board as the next best junior to hit the scene. He looked like a Bok in the making, at least to some including me. He had the running skills of a fullback, with the playmaking skills of a flyhalf. At least in junior rugby with more time and space...

It did not all pan out. In some ways a Damien Willemse type of player. Lots of skills but can he control games by taking the best options a playmaker from 10. 

He started SuperRugby under Jake White which proved to be a disaster for him. He got limited game time but looked good in space. His decision making and following Jake White's plan did not seem to be happening.

One of those players who have the extreme skill that excels with time and space, but not as good with less time. Although, perhaps would have done better with the game plan the Sharks are using in 2020- than the Jake White 10 man game that was being deployed in Jakes year in charge. 

Now he returns to SA a more experienced player, but by all accounts did not apparently set the world on fire in the English Premiership. 

May 27, 2020, 00:17

He was gifted but a complete softie

Exposed for being soft

May 27, 2020, 00:33

Since when did Damian have skills? That was precisely his problem, along with a lack of rugby IQ. Technically flawed on defence and attack.

As foe Swiel. Never ever looked like becoming a Bok. Wasn't fortunate enough to have the media propel him to 50+ caps though. 

May 27, 2020, 00:41

@Aug, sorry I meant Damien Willemse, not Delande. 

May 27, 2020, 12:12

“ Timo was hyped by many on this board as the next best junior to hit the scene. “

He was only hyped by two. Mike and Saff (admittedly only initially, in his case, though).

May 27, 2020, 16:01

All mum stuff aside...

I have to hand it to David...

Unlike other members.... like clevermike and mozart...

Dave isn't afraid to admit he was wrong about a player.

I for one also liked Swiel... but his lack of physicality has counted against him big time.

Well done David.

May 27, 2020, 16:33

Swiels Youtube highlights as a Bishops player was out of this world - he looked bloody amazing. Reminded me of Gibbs as a 10

But when he hit senior rugby a few great touches were vastly overshadowed by how shit scared he was of contact

Same thing happened at Quins - my big mate is a Quins supporter and when Tim first joined he showed all those silky skills....but alas that did not last

May 27, 2020, 16:37

David, i watched him play as a school kid against (I'm pretty sure it was) SACS.

He ripped them to shreds. He played at 10.

So ya, its a pity he couldnt carry it through.

May 27, 2020, 17:01

Yeah Chip certainly gifted but it does not help having no hard edge

Naas could get away with it, you can’t in modern day rugby

May 27, 2020, 17:14

“  Posted by: Saffex (18643 posts)

May 27, 2020, 16:33

Swiels Youtube highlights as a Bishops player was out of this world - he looked bloody amazing. Reminded me of Gibbs as a 10

I saw Gibbs in his school days. The Craven week of that year was at Loftus and a friend’s son played for N Tvl against WP. At that stage the big question was rugby or cricket when he finished school. 

May 27, 2020, 17:33

Vlag I saw him playing against St Andrews in Grahamstown. Nick Mallet was at that game as well

He single handedly beat them

I saw an article on Facebook the other day where Gibbs said rugby was his first love

He also went for a trial with one of the big English football clubs if memory serves me correctly

May 27, 2020, 17:54

I always admit when I was wrong about players.   When you look at school kids and under 20 players you always have a problem - some who seemingly are brilliant never makes it into senior rugby and Swiel was on of those,    Instead of playing for SA Under 20 on the 2013 WC he apparently decided  to not play for SA - but try to get into English Rugby,

My comments always are - watch out for that type of player in future and see how he develops - there never is any other way to look at potential talented kids. 

He did not make the grade and then made a terrible career choice - he signed to play rugby for the Sharks under Jake White,   If he went to the Cheetahs at the time he would have had a chance to develop further in rugby - it would never be possible for a backline player like him to develop with White in charge,              

May 27, 2020, 18:00

He did not need to develop - he had all the skills

He never made it because he is soft - you can’t coach a guy into becoming a hard nut



JJ Engelbrecht


Morne Steyn



May 27, 2020, 19:25


You are right about that 

May 27, 2020, 19:32

Mike, to be very honest...

You are the most one eyed rugby follower that I have come across.

And I mean this very objectively.

Frans Steyn could win international player of the year and you still wouldn't see anything good about him.

... thats just an example.

I find you very narrow minded.

So too Moz.

...actually maybe it's an age thing then?

Guys like David, cera, sharkie and Db are all big enough men to acknowledge that sometimes they get things wrong OR that a player has lost or found form and is playing well...

You... none of that.

Jun 02, 2020, 18:09

Ah, this kid never learned how to pass or kick tactically. He is very similar to George Ford in built but Ford is a fantastic kicker and distributer where Swiel relies on his step and guile. 

That said, the age group teams at the team could have been really weak to. 

A better coached team could have shut him down properly. 

But that is problem with school boy rugby. What happened to that Du Preez kid that got a Australian rugby league contract only to swirl around the doldrums and never really progress anywhere 

Jun 02, 2020, 21:08

Crap there was no denying he was super talented and was brilliant at school level on a skill level.

There is no such thing as weak opposition when it comes to who Bishops play against

His weakness at senior level was a fear of contact - it’s that simple

Jun 02, 2020, 21:28

I completely disagree with you on that one. Again, he didn't know how to manage a game. I actually watched quite a few of his senior games for the sharks and harlequins. All I can say is he had a good show real for a school boy kid.

Then, yes it is bishops that he is playing for, so of course he would look better in a school team that likes to poach all of the best players around the cape

Jun 02, 2020, 21:34

From ou Maaik: "I always admit when I was wrong about players. "


Funniest thing I've read in 2020 so far.

Jun 02, 2020, 21:37

Bullshit there was no denying he was pure class at school and at senior level it had very little to do with game management that was his downfall.

He simply lacked the hard edge and that is something you can’t hide from.

His attacking instincts and execution were sublime at times, his boot was solid in terms of game management. But he was soft

Jun 03, 2020, 11:26

So George Ford has a hard edge? But he is one of the best 10s in the world, same build 

All I saw of Swiel was dancing around flat footed defenders

Jun 03, 2020, 11:48

Ford does not have a hard edge but will at least front up

He is not a softie nor is he one of the best 10’s around

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