The Springboks are strongly considering utilising two squads during the 2023 Rugby Championship, repeating the tactic that saw them win the tournament in 2019.
South Africa will open the 2023 Rugby Championship against the Wallabies in Pretoria on 8 July and then take on New Zealand in Auckland a week later.
There is a temptation for the Springboks to split a larger squad between the two games, with one squad flying to New Zealand, while the other remains in South Africa to prepare for the Test against Australia.
“If there aren’t a lot of injuries, we’ll want to send 15 guys that way [to New Zealand] earlier. In the event of a number of injuries, we will fall back on our strongest team for both Tests,” Rassie Erasmus told Sunday newspaper Rapport.
The Springboks utilised the split-squad tactic when they last won the Rugby Championship in 2019, also a World Cup year.
In 2019, the Springboks also played the tournament-opener against Australia, but flew a group of players to New Zealand at least 10 days before the Test. That tactic saw the Springboks snatch a credible 16-16 draw with the All Blacks, thanks to a last-minute try from Herschel Jantjies, converted by Handre Pollard.
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