Cape Town - Sharks scrumhalf Cobus Reinach is widely expected to be one of the unlucky players not to be selected when Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer names his Rugby World Cup squad on Friday.
All indications are there that Reinach will be excluded from the squad at the expense of the Bulls’ Rudy Paige.
Reinach was spotted at Sharks training on Thursday, while Paige remained in camp with the Boks.
Meyer is under pressure to meet transformation requirements and according to SARU’s strategic transformation plan, the target for this year’s World Cup is 30% players of colour - which constitutes nine out of the 31-man squad.
Reinach made his Bok debut in last year’s Rugby Championship and now boasts 10 Test caps. He has been on the Springbok bench throughout this year’s international season, with his last Test being the 26-12 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires two weeks ago.
While Paige showed excellent form for the Bulls in Super Rugby, the selection is tough on Reinach.
Paige will go to the World Cup with no Test caps behind his name and questions should be asked about his selection.
If Paige was always going to the World Cup, then why was he not tried during the Rugby Championship?
Reinach should then have been released to play for the Sharks, while Paige should have been groomed when the chance was there for him to get a taste of international rugby.
Ruan Pienaar and Fourie du Preez are expected to be other scrumhalves named when Meyer names squad at 18:00 on Friday evening.