Boks to resume midweek matches – report

SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus is reportedly keen to see an extended Springbok squad play midweek games before their Tests this year.

According to Sunday newspaper Rapport, Erasmus is looking to build greater depth in the Springbok squad as part of SA Rugby’s post-2019 World cup strategy.

As part of this plan, the Springboks could play up to five midweek games this year – when Test rugby does resume following the break in the season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The report states that their could be between 45 and 50 players in the Springbok squad for the Rugby Championship matches in Australia and New Zealand – in order to allow for midweek matches in Australasia. Erasmus also hopes to have the go-ahead to have a Springbok ‘A’ side play on Friday nights during the team’s European tour at the end of the year.

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There was already a plan to name a Springbok ‘A’ for the July Test matches against Georgia and Scotland – which both Erasmus and Bok coach Jacques Nienaber would oversee. The likes of Sharks fullback Aphelele Fassi and Cheetahs hooker Joseph Dweba could have been introduced to Test rugby through this team.

However, those Test matches are in doubt as the coronavirus continues to impact the rugby calendar – with the possibility of the two Tests against Scotland being postponed until later in the year.

The Springboks last played a midweek match in Europe in 2009 – when they faced both the Leicester Tigers and Saracens.


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