Young­sters Am and Bosch ex­pected to get Coet­zee’s nod

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - MIKE GREENAWAY

THE dust will barely have set­tled on the Su­per Rugby tro­phy at El­lis Park tonight when the Spring­bok squad for the Rugby Cham­pi­onship will be un­veiled.

While the back­bone of the Lions team that will ei­ther have won or lost the fi­nal will form the nu­cleus of the 33-man-Spring­bok squad, there will be a few mar­ginal changes from the squad that beat France 3-0 in June.

It is ex­pected that 20-yearold young­ster Cur­win Bosch will be called up as fly­half cover for El­ton Jan­tjies, while also do­ing a job as full­back back-up.

Bosch was with the Spring­bok Un­der- 20 squad at the Un­der- 20 Cham­pi­onship in Ge­or­gia at the time the se­nior Boks were host­ing France.

Another young Sharks player ex­pected to be called up is out­side cen­tre Lukhanyo Am ( who missed six weeks of rugby be­cause of a frac­tured cheek bone, rul­ing him out of the June in­ter­na­tion­als.

Oth­er­wise, there will be few over­seas based play­ers in the squad for the Rugby Cham­pi­onship opener against the Pu­mas in Port El­iz­a­beth on Au­gust 19, be­cause the over­seas win­dow will have closed for the du­ra­tion of the Cham­pi­onship, and few play­ers will have “out clauses” for the South­ern Hemi­sphere show­down.

That will not be the end of the world for coach Al­lis­ter Coet­zee, given the vast ma­jor­ity of his form play­ers will come from the Su­per Rugby teams that have done duty this year, the Lions of course be­ing the main provider.

This could mean Bath’s open­side flank Fran­cois Louw’s days as a Spring­bok are num­bered, es­pe­cially given the form of Lions open­sider Jaco Kriel and Siya Kolisi from the Storm­ers, while Sharks flank Jean-Luc du Preez is another loose for­ward cer­tain to be called up.

Chee­tahs flank Oupa Mo­hoje is another in- form loose for­ward.

The re­turn to fit­ness of Am will also mean it is un­nec­es­sary to ex­tend the cameo of a player such as Fran­cois Steyn, even if his French club Mont- pel­lier would re­lease him.

A more telling ques­tion is whether 29-cap in­side-cen­tre Jan Ser­fontein will be avail­able be­yond the Rugby Cham­pi­onship.

It is un­der­stood he will be avail­able for the Cham­pi­onship be­fore his move to France.

Also, Bulls full­back War­rick Ge­lant is tipped to get a call-up.

The 33- man Bok squad will be con­firmed through Su­perS­port, at ap­prox­i­mately 18.45pm this evening.

The play­ers will as­sem­ble on Tues­day in Port El­iz­a­beth to start with their prepa­ra­tions for the first Test against Ar­gentina, at the Nel­son Man­dela Bay Sta­dium on Satur­day.

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