The return of John Smit and Andries Bekker to the Springbok squad for the second test against Italy have led to Alistair Hargreaves and Bandise Maku losing their places in the match 22.
Bulls lock Flip van der Merwe also looks set to miss out, with Danie Rossouw and Bakkies Botha looking to re-establich themselves as the two “enforcer locks” in the squad. Victor Matfield is widely expected to be rested this weekend, with Bekker coming straight back into the starting lineup and Rossouw coming onto the bench. Hopes that Hargreaves, twice capped off the bench, might be given his first start in test rugby have seemingly been dashed by Bekker’s return to fitness and the lanky Natalian looks likely to be playing his rugby in the Currie Cup for the rest of the season.
It’s good news for the Sharks, of course, who may well make the decision to appoint Hargreaves as captain for the Currie Cup campaign now that his availability for the duration of the competition is a little clearer. The Sharks have also contracted Ross Skeate, another specialist 5 lock, though and Hargreaves will need to be on top of his game to keep the former Stormers man out of the starting fifteen.
Maku becomes just the latest “yo-yo Bok” as he was capped for around two minutes on Saturday, only to be dropped again entirely. What a way to earn a living!Tweet