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Talking points from Springbok squad selected by Rassie Erasmus.

24 June 2019, by: Carl Lewis


Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus named a preliminary squad ahead of the Rugby Championship in June and of course with an eye World Cup in Japan later this year.

A group of 26 players will gather at the national alignment and conditioning camp. Players from the Bulls and Sharks will join the camp next Monday.

The Springboks start their season on July 20 against the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship. We discuss the most intriguing selections from Erasmus.

Many fans have been calling for the return of the hard-working loose forward Coetzee. A superb 2018-19 campaign for Ulster meant he could not be ignored any longer. He was recently chosen as the Ulster Rugby Writers’ Player of the Year.

The 28-year-old’s has the chance to add to his 28 Bok caps. Coetzee endured an injury-hit spell after moving to the Irish club in 2016. He has since reinvigorated his career with his barnstorming style of play. He last turned out for South Africa in 2015. Coetzee provides physicality and work rate on attack and defence.

Simply sublime all season long for the French Top 14 champions. His highlight reel this season is a must watch. Kolbe is not a surprise inclusion considering he was involved with the Boks last season.

This time Kolbe, comfortable at wing or fullback, is the form player out of all of the Springboks backs. He was used mainly as an impact player by Erasmus. It will be interesting to see what capacity Erasmus plans on utilising Kolbe’s unique set of skills.

Reinach was the driving force behind the Saints playoff push. His 11 tries and general form lit up the Premiership and saw fans, like with Marcell Coetzee, demanding his inclusion.

Reinach left South Africa as a pacy but inconsistent 9 that needed refinement. His stint in the UK has done just that. His all-round play has drastically improved and his ability to influence games on attack remains. A dynamic scrumhalf much like the other two 9’s in the preliminary squad.

Scrumhalf has been a problem area for the Boks. More specifically finding a suitable back up to mercurial the Faf de Klerk. Reinach has a big chance of making the World Cup squad as things stand.

Rassie Erasmus believes the experience of Frans Steyn could be invaluable for the Boks in a World Cup year.

He won the 2007 World Cup at the age of 20. Steyn has been a bit of enigma when it comes to national duty. He hasn’t played a lot of Test rugby since that World Cup in 2011 and last donned the Bok jersey in 2017.

He was included in Erasmus’ first-ever Bok squad last year, but he was a very late withdrawal. Erasmus could have picked Jan Serfontein but it seems he is set on Steyn’s presence.

Jantjies enjoyed a very good breakout season at the Stormers in 2019. The injury to Jano Vermaark opened the door for the bright number 9 to shine, and he snatched the opportunity.

He’s been the arguably the best South African scrum-half in Super Rugby. It’s a problematic area for Erasmus and it’s a huge chance for him to make a late dash for the World Cup. He seems to have jumped ahead of the likes of Ivan van Zyl and Embrose Papier if you consider form.

Fans will remember Elstadt from his Stormers day. They’ll recall an industrious flank/lock who absolutely loved the physical stuff.

Not much has changed since then although it seems Elstadt has refined his game. He was immense for Top 14 champions Toulouse this season, quickly becoming a fixture in the team with his brutal defence.

His inclusion alongside Coetzee indicates Erasmus intent on selecting a physical squad. Elstadt has yet to debut for the Boks. At 29-years-old he will be relishing the chance to make an impact on the international stage. His recent form suggests he is ready.

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