With Jacques Nienaber set to announce his first-ever Springbok squad as head coach on 5 June, who are the uncapped players he’ll most likely include?
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.
The Bulls’ Louw has been among the best blindside flanks domestically, while Wiese has been the standout player in the English Premiership since joining the Leicester Tigers from the Cheetahs last year.
Front rowers Sadie and Mbatha have executed their primary roles well so far on the domestic scene, with the Lions tighthead impressive in his performances against more senior Springbok opponents, while the Sharks hooker has shown a maturity beyond his years.
Another Sharks player, Hendrikse, has emerged as the promising scrumhalf of his age group, while there have long been calls to include his teammate Fassi in the Bok set-up since the fullback’s debut season in 2018.
Van der Merwe has burst on to the scene this year, after having to patiently await his opportunity at the Stormers, while Green has stepped up at Harlequins in the absence of club veteran Mike Brown.
Of course, that leaves Specman. With the 32-year-old involved in the Bok alignment camps, it looks like he might be able to realise his dream of pulling on a Bok jumper and bringing some ‘Specmagic’ to the Test arena.
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