South Africa’s bid to retain the World Cup may well hinge on the Springbok talent that emerges in SA A matches against Munster and Bristol during the November tour, according to MARK KEOHANE.
The Boks will kick off their northern tour against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday, 5 November, and this will be followed by Tests against France, Italy and England, while the SA A will take on English Premiership side Bristol and Irish giants Munster.
In his TIMESLive column, Keohane says the midweek clashes will be as important for Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber’s 2023 World Cup preparations as the Boks’ final Tests of this international season.
“Wins for the Boks against Ireland and France will be big for their psychology, but it is the impact of a handful of players in the A matches that could prove definitive for the players and the depth of the Boks’ World Cup squad,” Keohone writes.
“I called them my bolters earlier in the week. I would have loved to have seen them straight into the Springboks squad, but more realistically they will be part of the A squad. They are Emirates Lions duo Henco van Wyk [centre] and Ruan Venter [flank] and DHL Stormers No 8 Evan Roos and utility back Sasha Mngomezulu.
“Van Wyk has been electric and Mngomezulu, the SA U20 captain and flyhalf, has been all class. They are the Bok future and could even be the Bok present before the end of the year.”
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