Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has confirmed that he will again include overseas-based players for the national team in 2019.
Erasmus told Netwerk24 on Tuesday that he has been in talks "with about 12" overseas-based players but stressed that the majority of his squad will be made up of local players.
In 2018, players like Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, England), Willie le Roux (Wasps, England) and Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse, France) caught the eye in a Springbok jersey.
"Cheslin Kolbe is a classic example of a player whose name was mentioned nowhere and suddenly formed a part of the team. We're not going to announce who we've been in contact with, because if we do that them people will automatically think we're going to pick those players," Erasmus said.
"We've contacted those players just to make sure we have enough depth in every position. That's where Cheslin came into the picture - when (Makazole) Mapimpi and S’bu (Nkosi) got injured. Cheslin had enough experience.
"There are about 12 (overseas-based) guys I've had contact with. Let's say seven of them will not be part of the Bok group at all, but if we pick up injuries along the way then they can be called up."
Erasmus was in Bloemfontein in Tuesday where he paid the Cheetahs a visit, as part of his countrywide tour to collaborate ideas with all six of the country's franchises.
The Springboks will play five Tests before the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
They will play three Rugby Championship Tests - Australia (Johannesburg, July 20), New Zealand (Wellington, July 27) and Argentina (away at a yet to be determined venue, August 10).
The Boks will play an additional Test against Argentina in Pretoria (August 17), as well as a World Cup warm-up game against Japan in Saitama (September 6).
The World Cup runs from September 20 until November 2.
South Africa open their Pool B account against New Zealand in Yokohama (Saturday, September 21), followed by matches against Namibia in Toyota (Saturday, September 28), Italy in Fukuroi (Friday, October 4) and Canada in Kobe (Tuesday, October 8).