Cheetahs coach Rassie Erasmus wants his players to start pushing for Springbok selection.
At the moment, only Os du Randt and Juan Smith are first-choice Boks, a surprising situation considering Free State are the reigning Absa Currie Cup champions.
“We want to have as many of our players in the Bok side as possible,” said Erasmus. “If the team plays well, then the selectors will have to look at guys like [flank] Kabamba Floors. I believe we have a number of players who are good enough for the Boks. And if we win the Currie Cup again this year, those players will have to be considered.”
The Cheetahs need one more point to qualify for the semi-finals and probably another four for a home semi. However, with matches against the Sharks and Bulls to come, Erasmus knows his side will have to be at the top of their game.
“We’re not reading too much into the Sharks loss last weekend [50-32 to the Bulls],” he said. “A team often battles when their Boks return, because it takes a while for them to gel again. We have played well against the Sharks over the last couple of years, but history counts for nothing on the day. We’re confident of winning the game, but not over confident.”
Erasmus believes the Cheetahs are in good shape going into the business end of the competition.
“We can’t get fitter than we are now, so we’re focusing more on the mental side of the game, in terms of getting our structures right and keeping our confidence high,” he said. “What helps is the fact that we’ve been here before – only a couple of players don’t know what it’s like to win the Currie Cup. That makes a big difference.”