|Siya Kolsii cerebrates a try|
Rassie Erasmus will get a last chance to test out his Springbok depth when his side host’s Argentina in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup warm-up Test in Pretoria.
Copyright Steve Haag Sport Hollywoodbets
South Africa v Argentina
17 August 17h05
South Africa 1/16
Following their Rugby Championship-winning exploits over the past month or so, Erasmus is likely to give his front-line players a rest and afford his fringe men one final shot at World Cup selection at Loftus Versfeld.
Bok captain Siya Kolisi, who made his long-awaited comeback during Western Province’s Currie Cup win over the Pumas last week, is expected to get game-time on Saturday. It remains to be seen in what capacity that will be, though the 28-year-old will likely come off the bench and ease his way back into Test footy.
With the likes of Wilco Louw, Scarra Ntubeni, Dillyn Leyds and Marco van Staden all having been called up this week, it seems increasingly likely that Erasmus is set to wrap the majority of his Rugby Championship squad in cotton wool until the global event in Japan kicks-off.
However, it will be interesting to see which members of the title-winning squad do get selected. Cobus Reinach, Marcell Coetzee, Schalk Brits and Thomas du Toit could all use starts to remind Rassie of their talents and get a last crack at potential World Cup selection.
Although Rassie and his coaching staff would know roughly 98% of the squad they wish to take to Japan, there’s still 80-minutes left for certain individuals to change their minds. Coetzee in particular will have plenty to prove if he wishes to displace either Francois Louw or Kwagga Smith in the final squad; two men seemingly all but confirmed to make up part of the decisive loose forward stock.
Meanwhile, Argentina have struggled to replicate the form that saw them reach the semi-finals of the last World Cup. Under Mario Ledesma, they have a less-than-convincing record but will be eager to make up for the 13-46 thumping they received at the hands of the Boks in Salta last week.
With the vast majority of their squad comprised of Jaguares players, any side they field will be close to their ‘A’ team. Expect them to come back firing on Saturday.
Verdict: Springboks by 10-points or more
That said, the players Rassie picks will feel they have far more to prove. While they may not be as clinical a unit as what was on display last week, they should still be far too good for the struggling Los Pumas.
Written by Shaun Goosen for Hoollywoodbets