Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

OPINION: Springboks should back these youngsters on end of year tour

The first port of call should be at flyhalf, where the Springboks have a mini crisis.

An exciting crop of youngsters have been tearing up the United Rugby Championship for their various franchises and it would do the Springboks well to include a number of them in their squad for their end of year tour.

With the South African A team also in action during the tour, with midweek matches against Munster and Bristol in November, it is the perfect opportunity to blood some of the rising talents from around the country.

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The first port of call should be at flyhalf, where the Springboks have a mini crisis, with Handre Pollard set to miss out on the tour and question marks still hanging over the availability of Elton Jantjies after his recent transgressions.

Bulls flyhalf Johan Goosen will almost certainly get the nod to join up with the squad, while Damian Willemse may take the reins as starting flyhalf, but the Boks desperately need to blood some new flyhalves.

The Stormers’ Manie Libbok and the Lions’ Gianni Lombard are the current front runners, and with Libbok 25 and Lombard 24, both could have prolific Springbok careers if backed, and both should be included in the SA A squad.

Ripping up the URC

Other youngsters that have been ripping it up in the URC for their respective franchises include Henco van Wyk (21), Sacha Mngomezulu (20), Sanele Nohamba (23), Thaakir Abrahams (22), Suleiman Hartzenberg (19) and Francke Horn (23), and all six would be worthy picks to feature for the A side.

All six players are former Junior Springboks, so should all be on the senior team’s radar, and with them in form this would be the perfect time to give them a taste of the Bok setup.

Outside centre Van Wyk, scrumhalf Nohamba and eighthman Horn have all played integral roles in the Lions’ three match unbeaten European tour over the past few weeks, while man of the match awards went to Nohamba after their win over Ospreys and Horn after their win over Edinburgh.

Utility back Hartzenberg has started all three of the Stormers’ URC games to date and scored a double against Edinburgh, while utility back Mngomezulu started his first Stormers game against Zebre and made a huge contribution of 22 of his team’s 37 points in the game.

Wing Abrahams has also started all three games for the Sharks this season, scoring a match winning try against Dragons and running in a brilliant solo try in their loss against Leinster.

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