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Cape Town – Recent Super Rugby form in both cases is making it increasingly feasible that Damian de Allende andJesse Kriel will be restored as the midfield alliance for the Springboks in June.

If not in the opening, neutral-turf Test against Wales in Washington DC – when new coach Rassie Erasmus is likely to be experimental – then the three-Test home series against England immediately afterwards could see the pair rekindle a partnership that was going places at a pleasing rate of knots in 2015 but has had only one further airing as a starting combo since.

In varying ways, De Allende and Kriel, both Cape Town-born but always representatives of different domestic franchises, have had their respective “difficulties” since they last clicked so pleasingly as an international unit some three years ago.

Sometimes they have gone so seriously off the boil, in fact, that harsher critics have been tempted to write them off as Test-level factors – seemingly forgetting about the X-factor so sparklingly evident in both, on their good days.

The tall, strongly-built De Allende picked up an ill-timed, long-term ankle injury while playing club rugby in Japan at the tail-end of that 2015 World Cup year, whilst another at the start of 2017 meant his Super Rugby season for the Stormers was once again cruelly impeded.

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