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A next generation of Boks to face Portugal

OPINION: It’s been confirmed that one of the surprise packages of World Cup 2023, Portugal will play a one off Test against the back to back world champion Springboks in Bloemfontein.

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It was at the same venue where South Africa lost their first ever test to Wales on home soil in 2022.

The significance of that Test was the fact that 19 changes were made in the overall squad from the week before of which 14 were in the starting lineup with six debutants lining up either starting or playing off the bench.

Most notably one of them was the unsung hero of the World Cup final in Deon Fourie, the other debutants were Evan Roos, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Ntukhuno Mchunu Ruan Nortjé and Elrigh Louw

With many of the top Springboks moving into their heyday years, there have to be a next group prepped for Australia 2027.

Here’s a potential squad of 28 who could feature in that Test against Portugal:

Props: Gerhard Steenekamp, Ntukhuno Mchunu, Neethling Fouche*, Asenathi Ntlabakanye, Thomas du Toit

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Hookers: Joseph Dweba, André-Hugo Venter*, Johan Grobbelaar*

Locks: Ruan Nortje, Nicholaas Janse van Rensburg, Reuben van Heerden*

Loose Forwards: Franke Horn*, Phepsi Buthelezi*, Vincent Tshituka*, Hacjivah Dayimani*, Evan Roos

Utility forwards: Connor Evans*

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Scrumhalves: Grant Williams, Jaden Hendrikse, Morné van den Bergh*

Flyhalves: Manie Libbok, Jordan Hendrickse*

Centres: Henco van Wyk*, Stedman Gans*

Outside Backs: Suleiman Hartzenberg*, Aphelele Fassi, Edwill van der Merwe*

Utility backs: Sasha Feinburg-Mngomezulu*

* Denotes uncapped

It’s a very youthful yet very talented and capable squad with some experienced players in the mix, these are players that show heaps of potential and have proven themselves at franchise level, and without any disrespect to the Portuguese side, they should be able to get a convincing result and invaluable experience that will grow the next crop of players for South Africa’s quest to do the three peat come World Cup 2027 in Australia.

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