DURBAN – The dust will barely have settled on the Super Rugby trophy at Ellis Park tonight when the Springbok squad for the Rugby Championship will be unveiled.
While the backbone of the Lions team that will either have won or lost the final will form the nucleus of the 33-man Springbok squad, there will be a few marginal changes from the squad that beat France 3-0 in June.
It is expected that 20-year-old youngster Curwin Bosch will be called up as flyhalf cover for Elton Jantjies, while also doing a job as fullback back-up.
Bosch was with the Springbok Under-20 squad at the Under-20 Championship in Georgia at the time the senior Boks were hosting France.
Another young Sharks player expected to be called up is outside centre Lukhanyo Am, who missed six weeks of rugby because of a fractured cheek bone, ruling him out of the June internationals.
Otherwise, there will be few overseas based players in the squad for the Rugby Championship opener against the Pumas in Port Elizabeth on August 19, because the overseas window will have closed for the duration of the Championship, and few players will have “out clauses” for the Southern Hemisphere showdown.
That will not be the end of the world for coach Allister Coetzee, given the vast majority of his form players will come from the Super Rugby teams that have done duty this year, the Lions of course being the main provider.
This could mean Bath's openside flank Francois Louw’s days as a Springbok are numbered, especially given the form of Lions opensider Jaco Kriel and Siya Kolisi from the Stormers, while Sharks flank Jean-Luc du Preez is another loose forward certain to be called up.
Cheetahs flank Oupa Mohoje is another in-form loose forward.
The return to fitness of Am will also mean it is unnecessary to extend the cameo of a player such as Francois Steyn, even if his French club Montpellier would release him.
A more telling question is whether 29-cap inside-centre Jan Serfontein will be available beyond the Rugby Championship.
It is understood he will be available for the Championship before his move to France.
Also, Bulls fullback Warrick Gelant is tipped to get a call-up.
The 33-man Bok squad will be confirmed through SuperSport, at approximately 18.45pm this evening.
The players will assemble on Tuesday in Port Elizabeth to start with their preparations for the first Test against Argentina, at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.