Who is knocking on the Bok door?
OPINION: As the Springboks management is hard at work setting up alignment camps, the squad selection is once again a hot topic.
Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber admitted he will opt for more experienced players during next year’s World Cup in France.
However, under the same breath, he explained the door is not totally shut for uncapped players to make the trip to the 2023 spectacle.
While there is a tiny chance of the URC crop of players performing their way to the Springboks’ World Cup squad, in reality for now its looks like it’s merely a dream.
And with good reason.
The 2019 winning Springbok squad are a relatively young group of players who still have another World Cup in them.
While replacements like Aphelele Fassi (22), Damian Willemse (23), Albertus Smith (28) and Retshegofaditswe Nché (26) will be well equipped to defend the title.
Nonetheless, with 17 Tests to go before the Boks defend their title in France, there certainly will be a chance for one or two uncapped players to make their debut in 2022.
The Springboks kick off their 2022 season with a three-Tests Series against Wales in South Africa.
One would certainly like to see the likes of Ruan Nortje getting a chance in the squad.
The lock, who attended the Boks’ first alignment camp, has emerged as an indispensable member of Jake White’s Bulls pack.
The 22-year-old’s incredible work-rate has been a major feature of the season, reminisced of the likes of Springboks duo Franco Mostert and Pieter-Steph du Toit.
The robust, hardworking second row helped the Bulls pack post to a 100 percent record of scrums won and achieved 20 more successful rucks despite the loss to the Stormers last week.
Another player that one would like to see in the Springboks squad against Wales is Stormers No.8 Evan Roos.
The loose forward has been making headlines in the recent week with pundits questioning his omission from the Boks’ first alignment camp in Durban.
Roos at just 22-year-old has been touted as the ideal candidate to take over the No.8 jersey.
The loose forward has been incredible for the Stormers. He is a powerful ball carrier and solid defender and top of the URC stats in both areas.
His amazing capabilities were evident in his performance against Ulster last month as he claimed the URC man of the match and made a memorable tackle that sent the Bok veteran Duane Vermeulen backwards.
Another player who deserves a mention is Bulls forwards Elrich Louw.
Similar to his teammate, Louw has been in fine form, playing a vital part in the Bulls’ pursuit of a URC title.
While these players will be in the squad only time will tell.
Nienaber revealed he will name his squad for the Series against Wales in July towards the end of the URC tournament, ample of time for them to give the boss some food for thought.