Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has suggested time is running out for Aphiwe Dyantyi, Warren Whiteley and Damian Willemse to make it into the squad for the World Cup.
The three have all been struggling with injury and have yet to play a minute of Test rugby for the Boks in 2019.
Willemse made his return from the bench for Western Province in their loss to Griquas on Friday evening. While he made a positive impact on match, it may be a case of it all coming too late for the 21-year-old,
Similarly, Lions duo Dyantyi and Whiteley have both endured stop-start seasons this year. Dyantyi, named World Rugby Breakthrough Player of 2018, has struggled with a hamstring injury while Whiteley, who was part of the Bok leadership group last year, has had knee problems.
Speaking after the win in the World Cup warm-up against Argentina, which acted as the final chance for players to prove their worth for the World Cup, Erasmus said there may simply not be enough time for the trio to make it into the squad.
‘Certain guys you just fast track,’ Erasmus said. ‘We are really fast-tracking Siya [Kolisi] in a big way. From 50 minutes of Currie Cup into Test match rugby, because he is our captain. It is a special case.
‘But with other guys it is just tough to go from one game against Griquas into Test match rugby and playing against the All Blacks. It is the same with a guy like Aphiwe. Even with how good he is, he has not really played.
‘Both of those guys and even a guy like Warren Whiteley, because the squad is getting announced on 26 August, I just see it as tough for them to hop from that level to Test level.
‘It is just unfortunate. Although they are all world-class, it is just a matter of timing. If we do get an injury and we have to go that route, it makes sense, but it is really just a timing thing. There are a few others who are in the same boat.’
The Springbok will assemble with the senior who were rested against Argentina for further training in Bloemfontein. Erasmus will announce his 31-man squad for the World Cup on 26 August.
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