Players who are standing in for absent Sharks in the Springbok training squad are not merely making up the numbers.
Pieter Jordaan writes in Volksblad that they will have an opportunity to challenge for places in the South African rugby team on an equal footing with all the others in the group of 42.
Wynand Olivier, Earl Rose, Zane Kirchner, Louis Ludik, Wian du Preez and Duanne Vermeulen were not in the initial squad of 27 but a door opened for them when the Sharks qualified to play the Waratahs in a Super 14 match in Sydney this week.
If the Sharks are eliminated on Saturday, their stars will be back in time to join preparations for the June 7 Test match against Wales.
However, the six who were drafted into the squad late last Saturday night won’t be tossed aside. They have a chance to stake their claims, just as everyone else.
They were not in the initial squad of 27 last Saturday evening. When the Stormers failed to qualify for the Super 14 semi-finals, their candidates and the six were included in a new squad of 42.
The six were probably called up to stand in for Sharks such as Adrian Jacobs, Ruan Pienaar, Frans Steyn, JP Pietersen, Tendai Mtawarira and Ryan Kankowski.
More players could be invited
Bismarck du Plessis, BJ Botha, Johann Muller, Rory Kockott and Odwa Ndungane are also expected to be in line for Springbok selection once the Super 14 comes to and end.
The number of players invited to the training camp may also still change but the present squad will be trimmed to 30 players on May 31.
Most of the available 2007 World Cup final stars have been included in the squad and the 22 chosen to take on Wales in the first of two Test matches will show a strong resemblance to the team that won the Webb Ellis Cup.
Meanwhile Saru has announced that the entire 42-man Springbok training squad will assemble in Somerset West on May 21, regardless of their injury status.
This includes Fourie du Preez, Heini Adams, Schalk Burger and Tonderai Chavhanga, all of whom are carrying injuries sustained during the Vodacom Super 14.
The players will be given the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the new management team and structures that will be in place for the upcoming international season.
Coach Peter de Villiers retains the right to call up additional players at any timeTweet