Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby journalist
2 minute read
4 Jun 2021
3:10 pm

Bok focus: New talent aplenty, but who’ll be asked to step up?

Rudolph Jacobs

It is believed that three of the big winners could be Sharks fullback Aphelele Fassi, Bulls flank Elrigh Louw and Leicester Tigers No 8 Jasper Wiese.

Will Sharks fullback Aphelele Fassi be a new selection to the Springboks on Saturday. Picture: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

South African rugby fans will get a glimpse of the Springbok stars of tomorrow when the national squad is announced on Saturday evening.

National Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus and Bok coach Jacques Nienaber will reveal their hand when a large squad of 45 players is announced for the 14 Tests which lie ahead in the next five months.

While the Bok coaches are set to stick with the core of players that won the World Cup, the addition of a host of young and up coming players will add to the excitement of the announcement.

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It is believed that three of the big winners could be Sharks fullback Aphelele Fassi, Bulls flank Elrigh Louw and Leicester Tigers No 8 Jasper Wiese.

Fassi has been in outstanding form for the Sharks and is tipped as the possible backup to Willie le Roux, but might first be groomed in the SA A team.

Louw has been one of the finds of the last few months, while Wiese has been compared to the impressive Duane Vermeulen with his superb performances in the English Premiership.

Other newcomers at the back could include winger Rosko Specman, Lions centre Wandisile Simelane and flying Stormers winger Seabelo Senatla.

Then there are the likes of Lions scrumhalf Andre Warner and the Sharks No 9 Jaden Hendrikse, while Sharks centre Marius Louw has been given an outside chance.

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Up front new additions could include prop Ox Nche and Lizo Gqoboka, even though both have been in the Bok picture before, while ignoring the claims of the Lions props Sti Sithole and Carlu Sadie will be difficult.

Two surprise selections could come in the form of Bulls lock Ruan Nortje and Stormers loose-forward Willie Engelbrecht.

Nortje has been in top form for the Bulls along with his lock partner Walt Steenkamp, while Engelbrecht, on loan from the Pumas, has impressed with his physicality for the Stormers.

There will always be players who will count themselves unlucky, and one wonders whether Lions flank Vincent Tshituka will be one of these, or will he get the nod from Erasmus and Co?