Cape Town - With the Springbok squad for next month’s tour to Europe to be named today, will there be any new faces? And if so, who?
The Boks will go up against Wales (November 6), Scotland (November 13) and England (November 20) after what has been an eventful year for the world champions.
Earlier this year, the Boks secured a series victory over the British & Irish Lions and went on to finish third in the Rugby Championship, where they also pulled off a stunning victory against the All Blacks in the final game of that tournament.
Initially, there were talks of the Boks not heading off on their endof-year tour if they had to be subjected to another strict bio-bubble environment.
Prior to their return to South Africa following the conclusion of the Rugby Championship, the Boks had been in some form of a bio-bubble environment since June. The removal of SA from the UK’s travel red-list last week, will ease those restrictions and being back a sense of normality to the tour.
While a number of uncapped players are expected to make coach Jacques Nienaber’s 38-man squad, there are also a handful of veterans who could miss out.
Bok star Cheslin Kobe is understood to still be battling with the knee injury he sustained during a training session in Australia last month. The injury saw Kolbe miss out on a number of Rugby Championship games. Reigning World Rugby Player of the
Year, Pieter-Steph du Toit, will not feature in the tour after undergoing surgery on his shoulder.
Du Toit sustained the injury in the Boks’ 27-9 thumping of the Lions in the second Test, which saw him miss the decisive clash against the tourists.
There is also uncertainty around Faf de Klerk, with the scrumhalf expected to miss out on the tour entirely. Subsequently, Sharks No 9 Grant Williams is likely to be in the mix.
Williams was first called up after Jaden Hendrikse, who suffered a leg fracture when he came on as a substitute in the Springboks’ second Rugby Championship win over Argentina, was stretchered off the field following the Boks’ 29-10 victory in August. Williams joined De Klerk, Herschel Jantjies and Cobus Reinach as the scrumhalves in that squad.
With lock RG Snyman and Nicolaas Janse can Rensburg also injured, Stormers captain Salmaan Moerat could finally get into the Bok set-up.