Springbok coach Peter de Villiers will name his first Test team of the year after the two Super 14 semifinals on Saturday and it is likely to include very few of the Stormers and Bulls players.
Jan de Koning reports for rugby365.com:
The Bulls host the Crusaders in the first semifinal in Soweto and the Stormers are at home to the Waratahs in Cape Town.
The Bok coach will name his team for the Welsh Test, in Cardiff on June 5, after the second semifinal at Newlands.
However, the team is set to feature a host of overseas-based players and a few surprising choices from teams not involved in the play-offs.
The Bulls and Stormers’ Springboks won’t come into the Test frame until South Africa meet France in Cape Town on Saturday, June 12.
De Villiers has already indicated that he will use the encounter with Wales at the Millennium Stadium as a ‘trial match’ for a host of overseas stars, with a view to their possible selection in the World Cup squad for the global showpiece in New Zealand next year.
Players like Daan Human (Toulouse), BJ Botha (Ulster), CJ van der Linde (Leinster), Joe van Niekerk (Toulon), Butch James and Michael Claassens (both Bath) are all on the Bok selection shortlist for the year’s opening Test.
There may be a few more.
However, there could be a few surprise selections from the domestic scene.
The Sharks will provide the usual batch – players like captain John Smit, Jannie du Plessis, Ryan Kankowski, Ruan Pienaar and JP Pietersen. Throw in maybe Steven Sykes and Allistair Hargreaves. (Hooker Bismarck du Plessis is out of the frame with a neck injury.)
But the real surprises could come from the Cheetahs, where players like Hennie Daniller (fullback) and Bjorn Basson (wing) have come to the fore in recent weeks.
And, of course, there is the effervescent Juan Smith who has made a huge difference to the Cheetahs team – both as a player and a leader.Tweet