Is Engelbrecht on Springbok radar for Lions series?

"Willie was in the (Springbok) alignment camps and to leave him out for such a big game would have been a bit odd.” 

Is Stormers loose-forward Willie Engelbrecht earmarked to form part of the Springbok challenge for this year’s series against the British and Irish Lions?

Normally a seven or eight, Engelbrecht has been handed the No 6 jersey by coach John Dobson for this weekend’s Rainbow Cup clash against the Sharks in Durban – because he is in the “national frame”.

“Willie has played six before,” said Dobson on Wednesday about the man who’s played most for the Pumas in recent years.

“But we mainly picked him there because Willie was in the (Springbok) alignment camps and is in the national frame and to leave him out for such a big game would have been a bit odd.”

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Dobson said Engelbrecht’s physicality would make him the perfect fit for the expected wet conditions in Durban this weekend.

Also, the visitors to the east coast will bank heavily on other big men, who are back this week, such as Bok flank Pieter-Steph du Toit, locks Marvin Orie and JD Schickerling, while centre Ruhan Nel is also back to organise the defence.

“These players coming back have all been part of this team so it’s constructive, not disruptive,” said Dobson.

“Marvin is a Bok and JD a Bok tourist. Their return makes us optimistic,” said Dobson.

Stormers: Damian Willemse, Sergeal Petersen, Ruhan Nel, Rikus Pretorius, Edwill van der Merwe, Abner van Reenen, Herschel Jantjies, Evan Roos, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Willie Engelbrecht, Marvin Orie, JD Schickerling, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff (capt). Bench (from): Scarra Ntubeni, Ali Vermaak, Neethling Fouche, Ernst van Rhyn, Adre Smith, Juarno Augustus, Paul de Wet, Tim Swiel, Marcel Theunissen, Dan du Plessis

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