Cape Town – Sharks coach Robert du Preez has revealed that hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle will be in the Springbok mix this June.
The Sharks are currently in Buenos Aires where they will take on the Jaguares in a crucial Super Rugby clash this weekend, and Du Preez made the decision to leave Ralepelle at home.
He opted instead to take the in-form Akker van der Merwe and Franco Marais as his hookers, but he helped explain why on Wednesday.
“Chili isn’t here because he’s going to be involved with the Springboks,” Du Preez confirmed.
“We need to give Franco another run as part of our rotational policy, so that’s really why we’ve done it like that.”
Du Preez hopes that a large number of his players will be involved in the Bok set-up.
Rassie Erasmus will name a 40-man squad on Saturday evening, with the first assignment a trip to Washington to take on Wales in a one-off Test.
The three-Test series against England, though, is the main event and Erasmus is set to trim that squad down as that series gets underway.
“The boys that have been involved in the Springbok camp before … hopefully we can get all 15 of them in the squad,” Du Preez said.
“It’s a big squad, obviously. Hopefully our guys will get an opportunity either in the Wales Test or England Test.”
Turning his attention to Friday night, Du Preez knows that the stakes are high.
“It’s everything to play for. We are desperate to win this game,” he said.
“There is no breathing space at this stage of the campaign.
“We’re well rested and ready to go.”
The Jaguares, though, have won their last five matches in a row, including a clean sweep on their Australasian tour.
Last weekend, they were superb as they smashed the Bulls 54-24.
“They are a very physical team and one that is well balanced,” said Du Preez.
“We’re playing against a Test team … they have really good players in every position.
“You’ve seen what they’ve done to the Bulls and if you don’t man up and pitch on the day, it’s going to be a long evening.”
Kick-off on Friday is at 21:40 (SA time).
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Makazole Mapimpi