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South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus is looking for players to put their hands up Saturday in the Springboks' test match against England at Twickenham.
This is an early test match, technically outside the official World Rugby test window. That can make it difficult for some players to be available.
European-based Springboks Willie le Roux, Faf de Klerk, Francois Louw and Cheslin Kolbe will not be considered for selection as a result, but Erasmus says that just opens up a door for someone else.
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“None of the players who play in the Premiership are available, and neither are the players who play their club rugby in France,” said Erasmus.
Erasmus confirmed that lock Franco Mostert won't be on the list, either. Regarding possible replacements for Mostert, Erasmus said there are a lot of very good options in the second row.
“Franco is a great player and he has started most of the Tests for us this year, and he will be missed,” Erasmus told SARugby. “We are fortunate that we have someone such as Pieter-Steph du Toit, who has a lot of experience playing there, while Lood de Jager is fit again and RG Snyman is also in the squad. So we have some options to fill that position.”
Erasmus said the Test at Twickenham will offer his players a thorough examination: “Playing against England, under pressure in a full stadium, will be a new experience for some of the players and it will provide me with some good answers.
“The English are good and physical, they are strong in the mauls and set phases, as well as on defense. They can vary their game and that’s the biggest lesson we learnt from our defeat in Cape Town in June,” said Erasmus.