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The 9 Springboks already ruled out of Ireland Test series

By Rugby365
Jean Kleyn of South Africa looks dejected after defeat to Ireland during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between South Africa and Ireland at Stade de France on September 23, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus is not wishing ill will on the Bulls, but he is desperately hoping to have some key players back ahead of the first Ireland Test next month.

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A loss in the semifinal of the United Rugby Championship against Leinster at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday would allow some Bulls players to be in contention for South Africa’s season opener against Wales at Twickenham next weekend.

Erasmus told a media briefing that Bulls players could add massive value in certain positions.

However, it is also the extraordinary large list of injuries that is having him edgy.

Erasmus confirmed that Steven Kitshoff, Lood de Jager, Jean Kleyn, Jean-Luc du Preez, Jaden Hendrikse, Henco van Wyk, Canan Moodie, Damian Willemse and Kurt-Lee Arendseare all currently injured.

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Not only were they not considered for next week’s outing at Twickenham, but will also miss the opening Test of the two-match series against Ireland next month.

After next’s weeks Twickenham outing, the Boks host Ireland in a much-anticipated series at Loftus Versfeld (July 6) and Kings Park (July 13).

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The matchday squad for the opening Test of the season, against Wales at Twickenham on Saturday, June 22, will be announced on Tuesday.

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It would still be possible for certain Bulls players to start training with the Springboks next week should they suffer a loss to Leinster on Saturday, Erasmus confirmed.

He referred to certain experienced players who have been in the Bok set-up for some time, like Wille le Roux.

“In certain positions, definitely,” the Bok boss said.

“We will announce the team internally on Sunday.

“In certain positions, we will have a few young guys alongside each other.

“Some of the Bulls players understand how we want to play and change a few things,” Erasmus added

“Most of them have been at the alignment camps.

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“I don’t think every player involved with the Ireland Test will be drafted in for the Welsh Test, because they haven’t trained with us,” the Springbok coach explained.

With injuries to a host of backline players, Erasmus explained what the train of thought within the Springbok camp was.

“We already have quite a few injuries in the outside backs, on the wings.

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“Cheslin [Kolbe] is already touch and go, [Makazole] Mapimpi is fine – we might be thin there but then we’ve got [Quan] Horn, [Aphelele] Fassi.

“But a guy like Willie le Roux might be somebody who can just help settle down the combinations.

“Depending on how the guys do [at training on Friday] and injury-wise, it wouldn’t ideal for them [Bulls players] to have three training sessions and play a Test match against Wales.”

Erasmus felt the semifinal would be tough going for the Bulls, but he was holding thumbs that they keep the South African flag flying in the European competition.

“I think it’s going to be really, really tough for the Bulls to pull this match through.

“We are fully behind them.

“If it means we have to play without the Bulls players but a South African franchise goes through, I think that is very important.

“It will boost us overall.”

Speaking about the 11 rookies drafted into the Bok squad, Erasmus said it was up to them to show what they have.

“These boys have a chance now to have been at the alignment camps, virtual and in person in Cape Town.

“Now they had a full week in camp [with the Boks], and next week a Test match week.

“It’s all about how quickly they understand, and how quickly things come naturally.

“The reason we picked them is [because] they’ve got something about them.

“It’s also up to our coaches to bring to the party what they have.”

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Comments

3 Comments
j
jacques 30 days ago

Not really starters are they? Maybe one.

R
Red and White Dynamight 30 days ago

don’t worry, Rassie, a loss would only affect your winning %’s

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Mzilikazi 3 hours ago
Daugunu salvo shows why Wallabies work-rate is everything to Schmidt

Nice article, Brett, and good to be writing about a second win. I think Georgia will be far more testing. Tbh, I have not looked at their touring squad, but at full strength they are a far better and more dangerous team than they were at RWC France. They would have been disappointed they did not perform to full potential there. I think that the WB’s under Joe Schmidt have started soundly. Recovery from a serious setback always takes time. And the Jones era was that and more. I think the arrival of Les Kiss back to his native Qld. is a very positive factor, and the fact that he and Schmidt know each other well is a help. Players I think are much improved this year: Daugunu, who has blossomed with the Rebels, so credit to the coaching unit down there. Am pleased he will come back to the Reds. McReight is said to have put on up to 7 kgs since last season. His work rate has always been good, but it is his carrying into contact that has gone up. Now makes those critical one or two metres post contact very often. Is conceding fewer penalties now as his game matures. Rob Valetini was good last year, but is now a greater force this one. A really punishing ball carrier. Hunter Paisami is now a more controlled player. His carrying into contact is very impressive for an 80 kg man. Interestingly, if you saw Nick Bishops latest article, he has a team for RC with Kerevi at 12. Also Skelton in the team. Not sure if there will be o’seas players as early as RC though….but need them in by the EYOT games.

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