Fans are convinced that Aphelele Fassi will use Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash against Argentina as a springboard to a regular place in the Springbok lineup.
Following a 2-1 series victory over the British & Irish Lions, Bok coach Jacques Nienaber included Fassi an overhauled team for duty against the Pumas in South Africa’s Rugby Championship opener at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
Only five of the players to start against the Lions in the third Test have retained their places as the world champions have pulled first-choice players off the front lines.
For the replacements, Argentina represent a rare and golden opportunity to show their wares and prove they deserve permanent promotion.
Following an SARugbymag.co.za poll, electric back Aphelele Fassi emerged as the clear favourite to make full use of the opportunity.
The Sharks back will start on the left wing and, with his superb try-scoring debut against Georgia clearly still a fresh memory, he earned 34% of the votes.
Fassi was followed by Damian Willemse, who will start at fullback after being used as a utility back through the Lions series. Just over 13% of votes went to the Stormers player.
Joe Dweba makes his Bok Test debut with the difficult task of standing up to a comparison with world-class rakes Bongi Mbonambi and Malcolm Marx. However, readers also backed the Bordeaux bulldozer to shine, with 11% of votes going his way.
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