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No Springbok opportunities up for grabs in Currie Cup: Erasmus

Springboks Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus doesn’t believe that any players from beyond the fringes of the national team can make enough of an impact in the Currier Cup to be considered for the World Cup squad.

Barring a streak of injuries the players Erasmus will call on for the Rugby Championship and World Cup will be players who are part of the wider Springboks set up. This means that players hoping a good Currie Cup could earn them a World Cup spot are set to be let down.

“I don’t think anyone new in the Currie Cup competition will now play themselves into the Springbok team,” Erasmus said in Pretoria on Friday.

“Some of the players that were injured and that has been on the fringe and close to selection. But I don’t think a guy that hasn’t been on the radar will play themselves into the team.”

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Daniel du Preez of the Cell C Sharks during the Super Rugby match between Cell C Sharks and Reds at Jonsson Kings Park Stadium on April 19, 2019 in Durban, South Africa. Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Sharks bruisers Dan and Jean-Luc Du Preez as well as Damian Willemse, Jan Serfontein and former skipper Warren Whiteley are among the players who will be considered, if they can prove their fitness.

The Springboks are currently gathered for a training camp in Pretoria ahead of the Rugby Championship.

Any players not expected to be fit at the start of the Rugby Championship in three weeks will have to demonstrate match fitness in the Currie Cup to be considered for World Cup selection.

“We wouldn’t like a lot of the guys in the group that we have to rehab all the time,” Erasmus said.

“They can instead do that rehab with the franchises and the moment they are ready; we can draft them into the group.

“There has been a few that is unlucky not to be here, but they are not here because they won’t be in the World Cup squad, they are just not here because they can’t train with us.

“We are currently 39 guys in the squad, and we have four games before we go to the World Cup, that last Japanese game in Japan is a warm-up match.

“We can’t fly a guy back after that game; the World Cup squad will play that game.

“So we only have four games left to test guys – the three Rugby Champs games and the last one against Argentina.”

Springboks cut-off date set

Erasmus said that only players who had proved their fitness and form by the friendly Test against Argentina at Loftus on 17 August would be considered for Springboks World Cup duty.

The Currie Cup kicks off on 12 July when the Sharks host Griquas at Kings Park.

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