Cape Town - After following the past three weeks' Test action, one thing is pretty clear: the Springboks are not ready to go into battle with the All Blacks.
There was much hype and elation on Saturday night after the Boks claimed a 19-13 - and subsequent series - win over Ireland in Port Elizabeth.
But should we really overzealously celebrate scraping home in a home Test series against an Ireland side without several of their frontline stars?
Yes, credit must be given for how the Boks turned things around when they looked down and out after 60 minutes in the second Test in Johannesburg, but similar performances against the world's No 1 team would not suffice.
The All Blacks were below their best in a series against Wales, yet still won comfortably with an overall scoreline of 121-49 over the three Tests.
There was marked improvement on defence from the Boks this past weekend and it was welcome to see, but tactical kicking, discipline and patience on attack are all areas that need to be improved.
The lack of a proper fetcher could also prove problematic later in the season.
For these above-mentioned reasons, Sport24has highlighted five players we feel could add spark for the Boks ahead of the Rugby Championship:
As seen during the Ireland series, the Boks were at times found wanting on the wing. Lwazi Mvovo’s weakness under the high ball was badly exposed.
Habana would add some much needed experience and his work ethic could rub off on some of his outside back partners.
He could also add some much needed spark on attack in the often static Bok backline.
Bismarck du Plessis
Adriaan Strauss is now the Bok captain which makes it difficult to see Du Plessis getting a call-up from Montpellier in France, where he currently plies his trade.
Strauss is solid at the set-pieces, but he needs to improve his general play - on defence and with ball in hand.
Du Plessis’ physicality in contact and breakdown prowess were certainly missed during the Ireland series and there’s no reason why the 32-year-old cannot add value to the squad later in the year.
The former Free Stater and somewhat forgotten son of Springbok rugby has been in scintillating form for French club Racing 92 this season.
Goosen was one of Racing's heroes in their 29-21 victory over Toulon in the Top 14 final in Barcelona this past weekend - a game in which he played outside centre.
He slotted three long-range efforts from the kicking tee to help Racing win their first Top 14 title since 1990.
His versatility could come in handy, considering the injury worries to flyhalf Pat Lambie, as well as the dip in form displayed by fullback Willie le Roux.
The absence of an out-and-out fetcher was evident in the series against Ireland and Brussow’s value in this department is well documented.
Imagine how key a cog Brussow could have been had previous coach Heyneke Meyer not had an obsession with size!
He could have been a 70-plus Test veteran by now, but given the fact that he’s still to turn 30, he could yet add value for the Boks, especially on the ground...
A fit and available Schalk Burger’s experience could prove invaluable in a game against the All Blacks. There are several newcomers to the squad and the 86-Test capped veteran could play a key mentorship role in what is sure to be trying times during the Rugby Championship.
Can you think of any other players Allister Coetzee could call into the Springbok squad for the Rugby Championship? Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions.