CAPE TOWN – It's been a productive festive season for overseas-based stars Cobus Reinach, Marcell Coetzee and Frans Steyn, who will have Bok coach Rassie Erasmus sitting up and taking notice.
The 2019 World Cup is fast approaching, but for those overseas-based players who have yet to feature under Erasmus, time is running out to force their way into selection contention ahead of the tournament in Japan.
However, are at least three players who could well come into the reckoning should they maintain fitness and form for their overseas clubs over the next few weeks.
The former Sharks scrumhalf has arguably been the biggest benefactor from a sequence of highly impressive performances over the festive period. Earlier this month, Reinach was confirmed as the English Premiership Player of the Month for December 2018.
Reinach has emerged as the form scrumhalf in England this season, scoring two unforgettable tries as the Northampton Saints claimed impressive victories against the Exeter Chiefs and Worcester Warriors. Just this past weekend, he was at it again when he scored a try coming off the bench in a Challenge Cup clash against Clermont.
Reinach has 10 previous Test caps to his name and has been on Erasmus' radar for some time. If he continues such form for the Northampton Saints, he will be impossible to ignore.
It can't be forgotten that France-based Steyn was one of the players originally named in the first Springbok squad of the year, before being officially ruled out due to a reported injury.
Just recently, Steyn has enjoyed a return to fullback for Montpellier, and his performances have been out of the top drawer. In the Champions Cup last weekend, he again sent out a reminder of his class as he completed 111 metres from 13 carries and also executed two clean breaks as Montpellier thrashed the Newcastle Falcons.
The Boks are short of experienced depth at fullback, and it increasingly appears as if the versatile Steyn would prove to be a worthy consideration in that key position.
The Ulster-based flank has consistently impressed since recovering from ongoing injury woes that have effectively curtailed his Test career to just 28 appearances.
In recent weeks, his full value has become increasingly apparent to Ulster, with the loose forward making 13 carries, 22 tackles and securing three turnovers in a Champions Cup victory over Racing 92 last weekend.
Coetzee has the ability to play across all three positions in the back row, but may well be seen by the Boks as a specialist openside flanker, which is a position that proved to be somewhat problematic last year.
African News Agency (ANA)