Cape Town - Bulls No 8 Pierre Spies was on Wednesday one of three players named as potential emergency call-ups to the Springbok squad should there be any more injuries in the loose forward department.
Coach Heyneke Meyer has been vocal from the beginning that the door remains open for players who were left out of his preliminary 49-man squad, but the possibility of him looking outside of the current group may have been heightened by first first Duane Vermeulen and now Willem Alberts being in a race against time to make the end-of-year showpiece.
In the absence of those two stalwarts, Meyer is without two of his most tried and tested ball carriers.
He has opted for a back row of Marcell Coetzee, Francois Louw and Warren Whiteley for this Saturday’s clash against the World XV at Newlands, while Schalk Burger must be content with a place on the bench as he gets over the final stages of his groin strain.
Burger will certainly bulk up the loose forward department for the World Cup, and Meyer has re-emphasised the faith he has in his current squad. But any more injuries will likely result in him bringing in somebody from the outside, and on Wednesday he identified three players who he has been in contact with.
Meyer said that his concerns over the depth at eighthman were contributing towards him looking outside of the squad if there were any more injuries.
"I am a little bit worried about the eighthman position at this stage. Schalk can play there but he is not a classical eight," said Meyer.
"At this stage he’s the back-up there because with Willem being injured we’re a little bit short. We’re fine for now but we have to maybe look at bringing somebody in if there’s another injury.
"There are a few guys I can name. We looked at every single guy, and please take it in the right context, we keep at looking at guys," Meyer said.
"We looked at a guy like Jacques Potgieter - he’s a great ball carrier and he’s done well.
"Pierre Spies can fulfil that role. I believe he’s always played well for the Boks.
"I’ve always believed Arno (Botha) has been unbelievable. Unfortunately he’s been injured for two years but he can fulfill that role.
"So that’s the three guys we’re looking at, and we’re looking at other guys as well. So if we do have an injury we’re in contact with the players and we’ll definitely look at getting someone in who can fulfill that role. But at this stage I’m happy with the guys in the squad that they can fulfill that role."
Saturday's match kicks-off at 17:00.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Oupa Mohoje, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jean de Villiers