Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus says rugby fans can expect a few surprises when he names his squad for upcoming Tests against Wales and England.
Erasmus was speaking on SuperSport’s Afrikaans rugby show, SuperRugby, on Monday night where he shed more light on the squad he was preparing to pick.
The Boks will open their campaign against Wales in Washington DC on June 2, before a three-Test home series starting against England the following week.
Erasmus will name his squad on Saturday evening.
He said it will be a 40-man squad, with a group of 26 players flying to America for the Test against Wales.
“I think there will be a few surprises but I’m really going to try for a balance. I’m not going to pick conservatively,” Erasmus said.
“We’ll be training together as a group on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. And then on Thursday and Friday 26 guys will go to America, with a few guys staying behind to prepare for England. The squad will consist of about 40 players and after the first week it will be reduced to about 30.
“But I’m really excited, there will be a few guys getting their first (Test) caps. There are young guys who deserve a chance. Of course, there will be a few older guys who have experience, but the young guys will also get exposure.”
Erasmus added that England will provide a stern challenge and he believed his counterpart Eddie Jones had picked a strong squad.
“Actually if you look at his team... he’s picked his best (available) team. There are one or two guys who are injured and the odd one or two that he’s rested. But I think it’s his best team. I think it will be a tough Test series,” Erasmus said.
“But I think it’s better for us. If they sent a weakened team then it would be a lose-lose scenario. If you beat them then everyone says you beat their B team... so I’m happy they are bringing their strongest team.”
The first Test against England is scheduled for Ellis Park in Johannesburg on June 9, followed by Tests in Bloemfontein (Free State Stadium, June 16) and Cape Town (Newlands, June 23).