Issues of eligibility are affecting the selection process for both sides as the end-of-year tour comes to a close. Saturday’s match falls outside of the August international window and that might deprive Wales of the services of a few first team regulars. The Springboks might shuffle their pack, too, meaning that a few fringe faces will be on show this Saturday.
Host of Wales’ top stars unlikely to be available for Springbok clash
Taulupe Faletau has been passed fit for Wales for Saturday’s clash with the Springboks at The Principality Stadium but the overall team news isn’t so positive for Warren Gatland’s team. Because of the match being outside World Rugby’s Autumn International window, Faletau’s involvement is in doubt along with the availability of Owen Williams, Tomas Francis, Rhys Priestland and Jamie Roberts.
Kolisi returns to Bok duty after flying home for father duties
Siya Kolisi has jetted off to Wales after the birth of his second child, and is expected to take his place in the side on Saturday as vice captain. Capped 27 times by The Springboks, the Western Province loose forward had a perfect appearance record in 2017 until he had to miss the Italy match on the weekend. Kolisi rejoined the squad on Sunday, along with Malcolm Marx (rested as a precaution), and the duo’s return will come as a boost.
Impressive Gelant set to start?
Coach Allister Coetzee has hinted that Bulls fullback Warrick Gelant might earn his first Springbok start after an impressive cameo off the bench against Italy. Gelant appeared on the left wing on the weekend but it’s at fullback where the 22-year-old specializes. It’s the fourth and final test of the end-of-year tour, and there are also whispers that it might be Coetzee’s last game in charge. This might prompt him to make some experimental selections and give a chance to a few fringe names.
In other team news, overseas-based trio Francois Louw, Duane Vermeulen and Franco Mostert are all ineligible for Saturday’s match because it falls outside of the International Window.
More detailed team news will follow on Thursday.
Kickoff is on Saturday at 16:30 CAT.