DURBAN - Whether by design or default, not to mention a touch of fortune, Rassie Erasmus is building a super Springbok pack that can potentially destroy all in its wake.
It is difficult to recall when last a Bok coach had such quality options at prop, hooker and in the second row, and now it is at loose forward that Erasmus is building his depth and continuing the process of finding the right balance. He has the jigsaw pieces to complete an impressive loose-forward puzzle and he is hoping that by the end of the Rugby Championship he has a slick fit.
The Bok loose trio did a fine job in the series against England, but Erasmus has subsequently said that the teams in the Rugby Championship ask different questions to those posed by the well-drilled English, who tend to have a “paint by numbers” strategy, whereas the likes of New Zealand and Australia model their play around the X-factor so rich in their players.
As is well documented, Duane Vermeulen will not feature in the Rugby Championship but such was his impact against England, Erasmus can bank on Vermeulen as his first-choice No 8 and concentrate on building his depth in that position and in the two flank roles.
Erasmus also knows what he has in Jean-Luc du Preez, the hefty flank who made more offloads than any other player in Super Rugby and, of course in his captain Siya Kolisi, who will be the first name written onto the team sheet for the World Cup opener against the New Zealand next year.