The 7 Saffers who will take on Boks

Robert du Preez (Gallo)
Robert du Preez (Gallo)

Cape Town - There is usually a noble feeling of rugby being the winner that accompanies matches involving the Barbarians, but not this time around. 

The Springboks go into Saturday's clash at Wembley Stadium desperate to show the world they are on the road to recovery following what has been a disappointing 2016 under Allister Coetzee so far. 

The BaaBaas are up first before Test matches against England, Italy and Wales. 

Even though this is not an official Test, Coetzee needs a win. 

Interestingly, BaaBaas coach Robbie Deans has no less than SEVEN South Africans at his disposal. 

And, even more concerning for Coetzee, is that each and every one of them will want to prove a point on Saturday. 

Here is a look at which Saffers will line up against the Boks this weekend.

Ruan Ackermann (Lions)

It has been a breakthrough year for the 20-year-old, who played in the Super Rugby final for the Lions back in August. 

A versatile loose forward with a lot of pace and skill, Ackermann has been tipped for big things in the future. 

This is the perfect platform for him to show early on in his career that he belongs on the international stage. 

Ruan Ackermann (Gallo)

Clayton Blommetjies (Cheetahs)

Blommetjies also enjoyed a stellar 2016 with the Cheetahs. 

A late addition to the BaaBaas squad, Blommetjies may have hoped that he would be selected to play in the green and gold for this one. That obviously wasn't to be, but he now has a chance to show Coetzee what he is missing out on. 

Blommetjies has an ability to start dangerous attacks from the back out of almost nothing - something the Boks could do with as they plot the way forward. 

Clayton Blommetjies (Gallo)

Robert du Preez (Stormers)

A great opportunity for Du Preez. It has been a tough year for the Stormers flyhalf, who missed most of Super Rugby with injury. 

The flyhalf battle in South Africa is intense at the moment, and with Handre Pollard set to return next year it will only become harder for Du Preez to work his way into the Bok set-up. 

Outside of Super Rugby form, opportunities will be limited for the youngster, but he does have one this weekend.

Robert du Preez (Gallo)

Kwagga Smith (Lions)

There were some who felt that Smith should be included on the end-of-year tour, but he will have to earn his stripes. 

A massive performer for the Blitzboks over the past few seasons, the loose forward has now made a full commitment to 15s as he looks to make his way to the top. 

Fetching is a role that Smith will back himself to perform, and he can make a massive statement by winning the battle on the ground against the Boks on Saturday.

Kwagga Smith (Gallo)

Akker van der Merwe (Lions)

Van der Merwe has made a name for himself at the Lions with his strong running off the bench. 

Incredibly fast for a hooker, Van der Merwe will want to show that he is more than just an impact player. 

He played second-fiddle to Malcolm Marx at the Lions throughout the Super Rugby season, but with Marx now in the Bok set-up he might even have a chance to scrum down against his franchise team-mate.

The hooker battle at the Boks is also saturated, but the impending retirement of Adriaan Strauss will give the likes of Van der Merwe a boost. 

Akker van der Merwe (Gallo)

Schalk van der Merwe (Montpellier)

Still just 25, the former Lions prop has been strutting his stuff at Montpellier since 2015. 

That move was orchestrated by Jake White, but Van der Merwe had fallen well out of favour at the Lions when he signed his two-year deal in France. 

He is out of contract at the end of this year and there has been no news on that front yet. Could a move back to SA be on the cards?

Schalk van der Merwe (Gallo)

Martin Muller (free agent)

It was recently announced that the 28-year-old lock was on his way out of the Lions and he doesn't seem to have secured a gig anywhere else as yet. A strong performance for the BaaBaas won't hurt. 

Martin Muller (Gallo)

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