Mbonambi backed for Boks despite lack of game time

2018-06-05 11:23
Bongi Mbonambi (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bongi Mbonambi appears set to play for the Springboks against England on Saturday despite a serious lack of game time in 2018.

With Bismarck du Plessis having been ruled out of the first Test due to his late arrival from Montpellier, Mbonambi has emerged as a possible starter for this weekend's clash at Ellis Park in Johannesburg. 

Chiliboy Ralepelle and Akker van der Merwe were the two hookers who did the business in this past Saturday's 22-20 loss to Wales in Washington DC while Mbonambi stayed behind in South Africa to focus solely on the England game. 

While he does have 14 Test caps to his name - 13 of those are off the bench - the problem is that Mbonambi has been laid low throughout 2018 after suffering from appendicitis. 

Ramone Samuels and Scarra Ntubeni have been playing for the Stormers, but Mbonambi could now find himself thrown into the deep end this weekend.

"The ideal thing is that when you select a guy for the Springbok team he must have four or five proper games under his belt," Bok coach Rassie Erasmus explained.

"It is what it is and you have to make a plan.

"A guy like Bongi has Test experience and the nice thing about him is that he is always top fit. It wasn't a knee or and ankle, it was an appendix, so it wasn't a rehab thing.

"He did fitness and conditioning right from our first session so I'm fairly confident.

"Between Akker and Chiliboy and the way they played, we'll have to make a call there. From next week a guy like Bismarck will be in contention."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05. 

Read more on:    springboks  |  bongi mbonambi  |  rugby


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