Springboks

5 'old school' Boks who could return in 2018

2017-12-15 11:07

Cape Town - Whatever happens between now and the start of the 2018 international season, change is imminent. 

Rassie Erasmus is easing into his role as Springbok director of rugby and he has been tasked with turning the national side into a competitive force by the time the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan comes around. 

Allister Coetzee's future is still very uncertain, and since he took over as coach last year the Boks have won just 11 of their 25 Tests. 

This year, Coetzee backed a largely inexperienced group of players, handing out a number of debuts throughout the course of the year. 

But as the Boks look to get back to winning ways under Erasmus, there are a number of overseas-based veterans who could still have a role to play moving forward. 

In line with SA Rugby's policy on overseas-based players, only those with 30 or more Test caps are eligible for selection. 

Here are 5 Bok veterans who could potentially make comebacks:

BISMARCK DU PLESSIS

Yes, Malcolm Marx is a beast and one of the best hookers in the world. The Boks are blessed in this department. But, moving forward, the experience of a wise old head like Du Plessis could come in handy. Marx could only benefit from having somebody like Du Plessis around to feed off. That said, Bongi Mbonambi has not done enough wrong to lose his place as back-up hooker and a Du Plessis return would be harsh on the Stormers man. 

BRYAN HABANA

South Africa's all-time leading try scorer is still available for selection but has been very quiet on the Springbok front this year. Habana is 34-years-old, but given the problems the Boks have had on the wing this year in the form of Courtnall Skosan and Raymond Rhule, there could be an opening for a Habana return. 

JP PIETERSEN

Like Habana, Pietersen has not featured for the Boks all year. His big attribute is his size and that is an area where the Springbok wings have been found wanting this year. Pietersen is also considered solid under the high ball - another area where the Boks have struggled. It is hard to see both Pietersen and Habana returning, but having just one of them back will provide some much-needed experience and stability to the Bok back three. 

PAT LAMBIE

Lambie looks to have recovered from his head knock issues and he has been putting in some solid displays for Racing 92 in France. Handre Pollard and Elton Jantjies are the flyhalf options for the Boks currently, but in Lambie they have a guy with over 50 Test caps and a player who can comfortably slot into fullback too. Lambie has not reached his full Springbok potential yet, and he may feel like he has unfinished business in the green and gold. 

FRANS STEYN

This is perhaps the most likely of the above-mentioned possibilities given that Steyn represented the Boks as recently as June. He remains a big option for the national side with his flexibility in the backline and his educated boot making him an attractive option. The Boks played far too much of their rugby in the wrong areas of the field in 2017, and Steyn's boot would ensure they enjoyed significantly more territory. 

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