Rassie Erasmus’ Springboks selection has evoked an interesting reaction from fans on Twitter this week.
Before he revealed his selection, he said that there would be two different squads to face the Wallabies on Saturday at Ellis Park and the All Blacks next week in Wellington. This is an approach that Erasmus has suggested he may use when it comes to the World Cup as well.
When looking at the team to face the Wallabies, only Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit are the two players that would be expected to start against the All Blacks in the World Cup pool stage, with Lood de Jager, Jesse Kriel and S’bu Nkosi also being contenders.
However, that does not mean that the fans are not confident of the Springboks getting this weekend’s job done against Australia.
This is still an impressive team, with a formidable pack, with flankers du Toit and debutante Ryan Elstadt also capable of playing in the second row.
Etzebeth is back.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) July 17, 2019
Scrum-half Herschel Jantjies is the other player making his debut in the starting XV and will guide a promising backline alongside Elton Jantjies.
The team still also has a lot of experience, with 107-cap veteran Tendai Mtawarira starting, so it is understandable that the fans remain confident on social media despite a raft of regulars being absent. This is what the fans have said:
They have what it takes to win and really they all have to prove themselves but they're tried and tested fellas https://t.co/0pKutcASj2
— Nkumbulo JamesSodabi (@jamessodabi) July 17, 2019
Looks like a ‘b’ team but can they play together? I’m sure they are strong enough to beat Australia although it appears to be a strength building tournament for the World Cup
— Daniel Rae (@TweetDanielRae) July 17, 2019
Looks like a promising team forwards and backs. Extremely talented.
— ED_vd_W (@EDvdW2) July 17, 2019
Excited to see this squad in action, the loose trio looks mean! It's going to be a good game of ruggas. https://t.co/AkHUCF4rDR
— Phumudzo Tshiovhe (@Shepherd015) July 17, 2019
Wow, Boks "B" team looks good… Does this mean that Kolbe has overtaken Sbu Nkosi on the pecking order? https://t.co/uJYm6Q6tiv
— Isibonda saseZwide (@Vumza_) July 17, 2019
It's "virtually" a B team, but one that I trust to have enough firepower to beat the Wallabies on home soil. If they don't, it's not a trainwreck. The Rugby Championship is not that important in a World Cup year. Eyes on the prize.
— Arno (@watsenaam) July 17, 2019
— 40days40nights? (@myboymdakane) July 17, 2019
— Keegan Kruger (@KeeganKruger) July 17, 2019
The Wallabies have not beaten South Africa at Ellis Park in 56 years and while this is undoubtedly a weakened team, they still face a tough ask in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Despite some absences due to injury, Michael Cheika has named one of the strongest sides he can, meaning it will be a major boost for the Springboks if they do win.
Nevertheless, the focus here is about building a team for the World Cup, and Erasmus feels that having two squads may be the best way forward. But there will still be players that work their way into the A team before September.
WATCH: Springboks boss Rassie Erasmus announces his team to face Australia on Saturday
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