JOHANNESBURG – Players that have not been on the Springbok radar will not be considered for selection even if they play out of their skins during this year’s Currie Cup.
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus may have dashed the hopes of players eyeing a last-gasp call-up but provided hope for those operating on the fringes.
“I don’t think anyone new in the Currie Cup competition will now play themselves into the Springbok team,” Erasmus said.
“Some of the players that were injured and that has been on the fringe and close to selection. But I don’t think a guy that hasn’t been on the radar will play themselves into the team.”
Erasmus mentioned players on the injury list and recovering with their franchises could still find themselves Japan bound for the Rugby World Cup.
These players included Jean-Luc and Dan Du Preez, Damian Willemse, Jan Serfontein and Warren Whiteley.
“We wouldn’t like a lot of the guys in the group that we have to rehab all the time,” Erasmus said.
“They can instead do that rehab with the franchises and the moment they are ready; we can draft them into the group.
“There has been a few that is unlucky not to be here, but they are not here because they won’t be in the World Cup squad, they are just not here because they can’t train with us.”
He said players with more than two weeks of rehabilitation left were required to get back into shape and prove their fitness during the Currie Cup competition.
Although lock Lood de Jager was in camp with the Boks, he is expected to play in the Blue Bulls’ first Currie Cup match against WP in Cape Town next weekend.
Erasmus said the friendly against Argentina in Pretoria on August 17 would be the cut-off point for players to prove their fitness as he did not want to take passengers to the World Cup. The Boks play a warm-up match against Japan on September 6 before the start of the global showpiece.
“We are currently 39 guys in the squad, and we have four games before we go to the World Cup, that last Japanese game in Japan is a warm-up match,” Erasmus said.
“We can’t fly a guy back after that game; the World Cup squad will play that game.
So we only have four games left to test guys - the three Rugby Champs games and the last one against Argentina.”@ockertde