Elrigh Louw and Aphelele Fassi are among the hot favourites to be named when Jacques Nienaber announces his first-ever Springbok squad as head coach on 5 June.
It has been confirmed that Nienaber will name a 45-man squad on Saturday, 5 June with those players set to be utilised for South Africa A and the Springboks when they take on the British & Irish Lions.
Speculation has been rife about which Bok bolters Nienaber will turn to, with names such as Rosko Specman, Elrigh Louw, Carlu Sadie, Aphelele Fassi, Jaden Hendrikse, Fez Mbatha, Edwill van der Merwe, Jasper Wiese and Tyrone Green all being thrown into the Bok hat.
Following a poll run on SARugbymag.co.za, it was Louw and Fassi who emerged as the clear favourites among the readers. The Bulls’ Louw received an outstanding 410 votes, while Sharks fullback Fassi followed closely with 377 votes.
That should come as no surprise, as Louw has been among the best blindside flanks domestically, with his physicality and aggression on the gainline a key part of Jake White’s Bulls team. There have long been calls to include Fassi in the Springbok set-up since the fullback’s excellent debut season in 2018.
Specman has been backed to play his way into the squad, earning 252 votes, while fans also clearly want to see Wiese’s form for the Leicester Tigers rewarded with a call-up as the No 8 received 264 votes. The duo have been part of the Springbok alignment camps.
Wiese has been the standout player in the English Premiership since joining the Leicester Tigers from the Cheetahs last year. Meanwhile, Specman has been in electric form for the Cheetahs and recently joined the Stormers on a short-term loan deal to get more game time under his belt.
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