The defending Currie Cup champions, the Bulls, will be heading to Cape Town to provide opposition for the Springboks this weekend so they can get more game time.
While the Springboks originally wanted an extra game for the South African “A” side against the touring British and Irish Lions before the three-Test series begins, this has been turned down by the touring team, despite SA Rugby’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus “begging” for the fixture to be played.
Instead, the Springboks have asked the Bulls to step in and the Pretoria side, who missed their game against the Lions because of a Covid-19 outbreak, have complied and will travel to Cape Town to help out the national side.
Officially, the Bulls will face the SA “A” side on Saturday, but it will be a Bok trial game in every aspect.
The Bulls also haven’t played in weeks and will enjoy the hit-out, while some fringe players are on the radar of the Bok squad, like Cornal Hendricks and Marcell Coetzee, and will be able to try to catch the eye of the national selectors.
The Boks will need the hit-out as their second Test against Georgia was canned because both sides had a Covid-19 outbreak in their camps and so they are underdone in terms of match preparation at the moment.
They have played only one match together in 20 months and will relish the opportunity to be together for another game before the Test series starts.
Erasmus picked a virtual Test side for today’s SA “A” game against the tourists, but wants another game for the Boks to have enough time on the field before the crucial first Test against the Lions.