Springboks: THREE talking points ahead of Wales – Test series and BOK side like no other!

The return to full capacity after over two years is marked by some massive talking points in the Springbok camp! This will be a Test series and Bok side like no other!

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The Springboks take on Wales in a three-match Test series starting on 2 July 2022 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

This will be a very different Test series and quite a different set of circumstances surrounding Bok selection compared to recent years too…

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THREE TALKING POINTS AHEAD OF SPRINGBOKS VS WALES

The Springboks winning the prestigious British & Irish Lions series in 2021. Photo: SA Rugby website

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1) WELCOME RETURN TO FULL CAPACITY

It has been two and a half years since fans were allowed to fill the stadiums in South Africa. In the context of Bok rugby, it has been far longer though.

Fans were allowed to full the stands to capacity in March 2022. However, the men in green and gold only play home tests from June/July. Meaning it has been almost 3 years since the Springboks had a home test series where fans where allowed in. Their last home match with fans was against Argentina on 17 August 2019. Now, they welcome back a potential full crowd to Loftus, Bloemfontein and Cape Town respectively. You can expect great numbers for a side that conquered the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2021 British & Irish Lions series since they last had home support.

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2) UNIQUE BOK SELECTION HEADACHES PRESENTED

Jaques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus will have their work cut out for them this year. Selecting a Bok side is never easy, given the depth of SA rugby throughout history. This year presents a very different challenge to our Bok coaches for several reasons. Firstly, The Stormers and Bulls made it into a historic first-ever ALL South African United Rugby Championship final. With several players putting their hands up for Bok selection. Ironically, their are only two regular Bok starters between both packs, Stormers captain Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe.

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His teammates, Salmaan Moerat, Evan Roos, Deon Fourie, Herschal Jantjies, Warrick Gelant and Damien Willemse all put their hands up, earning selection for the national side. For the Bulls, Ruan Nortje, Marcel Coetzee, Arno Botha, Elrich Louw and Kurt-lee Arendse were all selected while Chris Smith and Cornel Hendricks can feel unlucky to not be chosen.

All these men will be fighting to earn their childhood goal of playing for the Springboks with a Test series against Wales the golden opportunity to blood new bolters.

3) ENSURING A CLEAN SWEEP TO MAINTAIN WORLD NUMBER ONE STATUS

As much as this series provides a chance for the future Boks it is still a Test series. That means, crucial World Ranking points are up for grabs as we build up towards the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

South Africa must ensure they win the Test series first and they can never underestimate the Welsh. This is a side that won the six nations a few years ago and pushed us all the way in the World Cup semi-finals in France. They are wounded, battered and bruised and have nothing to lose coming to South Africa. Expect several regular starters for the opening test as Nienaber and Erasmus look to secure the test series and number one spot in the world.

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