The 8 tackle-bag carrying Boks desperate for Test action

Sikhumbuzo Notshe (Gallo Images)
Sikhumbuzo Notshe (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - As the Springboks prepare for their final match of 2018 against Wales on Saturday, there are eight members of the squad who will be anxiously listening out for their names when coach Rassie Erasmus announces his side on Thursday at 16:00 SA time.

The eight have been with the national side all month, but have not featured in any of the three Tests played on the tour to date. 

The Boks will only be in action again in a shortened Rugby Championship competition next year, so if these players are overlooked once again for Wales, then they will have to wait a long time before making a play at being included in the 2019 Rugby World Cup squad. 

1. Gio Aplon

Somewhat of a surprising inclusion, the 36-year-old's last Test came in 2012. Erasmus said ahead of the tour that Aplon provided experience, but it was Damian Willemse who cracked the nod against England when Willie le Roux was not available. 

2. Sergeal Petersen

The form player of the 2018 Currie Cup, Petersen is yet to be capped at Test level. he is still just 24 and has a bright future, but with Aphiwe Dyantyi, S'bu Nkosi and Cheslin Kolbe being backed out wide, it's been a tough tour for the Western Province finisher. 

3. Ruhan Nel

Has had a stellar year and is incredibly highly rated by many in the South African game, but Nel is yet to get on the park for the Boks. Jesse Kriel has started all three Tests at outside centre and has performed well. Perhaps it is time for Erasmus to try something new?

4. Louis Schreuder

Effectively the fourth-choice scrumhalf on this tour, Schreuder does not look any closer to getting on the park against Wales. Faf de Klerk is available for the Test, but Embrose Papier was sublime against Scotland this past weekend. 

5. Sikhumbuzo Notshe

Notshe has been a part of the Bok set-up all year, but his participation has been limited with fierce competition prevalent in the loose trio. He looks to be part of the World Cup plans, but could benefit from some more time on the park.

6. JD Schickerling

With the amount of quality depth the Boks have at lock, this was always a strange selection from Erasmus. As expected, Schickerling has not got on the park, even after an injury to Eben Etzebeth. He is unlikely to feature against Wales. 

7. Trevor Nyakane

Nyakane's last Test was against Wales in Cardiff in the last Test of 2017. He has battled injury throughout this year but is said to be fully fit now. That hasn't been enough to get him into the matchday squad, though. 

8. Schalk Brits

Another Springbok tournament/tour/series has gone by with Brits not involved, and his inclusion in the set-up becomes more puzzling all the time. Malcolm Marx is undeniably the first-choice hooker, but Bongi Mbonambi has been fantastic in Europe too. 

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