Cape Town - Saturday's Currie Cup final will still provide a chance for players to put their hands up for Springbok selection, says coach Rassie Erasmus.
The Bok squad for the 2018 end-of-year tour to Europe will be named at 19:00 on Saturday, a little over an hour after one of Western Province or the Sharks has lifted the Currie Cup at Newlands.
Historically, the Currie Cup final has always given players one last opportunity to prove their Bok credentials before the national squad was named.
But, in recent years, that tradition seems to have fallen away.
The unions have all been informed of which players Erasmus is likely to choose for the tour, but the coach confirmed in Stellenbosch this week that he still has the option of changing his mind.
Erasmus assembled a squad of 20 players who spent this week in the sweltering Stellenbosch heat in a training camp, but it sounds like not all of the players present at that camp will be included in what is expected to be a squad of around 35 players named on Saturday night.
"There are one or two guys bracketed," Erasmus explained.
"There are one or two guys practicing here (Stellenbosch) who I don't necessarily think have played exceptionally well and who aren't very fit at this time.
"If one or two of the other guys have a stormer in the Currie Cup final, which is a high-pressure game against quality opposition, there are spots open.
"There are not 10 or 15 spots open, and most of the guys have been told, but same have been told that they are on stand-by which means that they could be selected at the last minute.
"There are going to be injuries on Saturday night and guys who have maybe pipped one or two players out of the squad."
There is a long list of players who are expected to be included in the Bok squad after they have played in the Currie Cup final.
Wilco Louw, Bongi Mbonambi, JD Schickerling, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Damian Willemse, Ruhan Nel, Sergeal Petersen, Thomas du Toit, Jean-Luc du Preez and S'bu Nkosi are the ones most likely to crack the nod, while there are others like Dillyns Leyds and Akker van der Merwe who will be hopeful.
"It's awesome. If it was logistically possible to allow every single player to play in the Currie Cup I would rather take that gamble with an injury or four," Erasmus said.
"There is a fine line between being overplayed and underplayed.
"I think there will be a couple of injuries, but I'm much happier knowing that there will be a few guys joining us who played the previous weekend."
Kick-off on Saturday is at 16:00.
15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 SP Marais, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ali Vermaak
Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Dan Kriel, 23 JJ Engelbrecht
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 S'bu Nkosi, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Aphelele Fassi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Tyler Paul, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Juan Schoeman
Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Jacques Vermeulen, 20 Luke Stringer, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Kobus van Wyk, 23 Leolin Zas