The Springboks’ opening Test of the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour against England on Saturday at Twickenham offers him a number of important player opportunities to consider, said Rassie Erasmus, the SA Rugby Director of Rugby.
European-based Springboks Willie le Roux, Faf de Klerk, Francois Louw and Cheslin Kolbe will not be considered for selection for the match because it falls outside of the international window. That means playing opportunities for other members of the Springbok squad against a quality England side.
“None of the players who play in the Premiership are available, and neither are the players who play their club rugby in France,” said Erasmus.
Erasmus confirmed that Franco Mostert, who has played a lot of rugby this year both for the Springboks and his South African franchise, will also not be considered for the match at Twickenham, which is the fourth meeting this year between the two countries.
Regarding possible replacements for Mostert, Erasmus said there are a lot of very good options in the second row.
“Franco is a great player and he has started most of the Tests for us this year, and he will be missed,” said Erasmus.
“We are fortunate that we have someone such as Pieter-Steph du Toit, who has a lot of experience playing there, while Lood de Jager is fit again and RG Snyman is also in the squad. So we have some options to fill that position.”
Erasmus said the Test at Twickenham will offer his players a thorough examination: “Playing against England, under pressure in a full stadium, will be a new experience for some of the players and it will provide me with some good answers.
“The English are good and physical, they are strong in the mauls and set phases, as well as on defence. They can vary their game and that’s the biggest lesson we learnt from our defeat in Cape Town in June,” said Erasmus.
The South Africans started their on-field preparations on Monday afternoon at the Latymer Upper School, where they will practise until Thursday. Erasmus will announce his match 23 for the England game on Thursday.