Town - Springbok coach Rassie
Erasmus will be watching this weekend's French Top 14
semi-finals with a fair amount of interest.
There are a number of South
Africans expected to be involved, and with Erasmus set to name his squad for
the June Internationals this Saturday, this will be the last chance for some of
the overseas contenders to prove their worth ahead of the international season.
On Friday night, Montpellier host
Of particular interest to South
African rugby fans will be the performances of hooker Bismarck du Plessis and
centre Frans Steyn.
Both players are expected to be a
part of Erasmus's plans this year and Du Plessis has become even more important
to the Bok cause now that Malcolm Marx has been ruled out of the June Tests
Steyn, meanwhile, last played a
Test for South Africa in June last year and his versatility means he can
provide experienced cover at flyhalf, centre and fullback.
Plessis is also at Montpellier, while a dark horse for a return to
the Bok set-up for June could be scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar.
Locks Paul Willemse and Nico Janse van Rensburg,
Immelman and flank Wiaan Liebenberg have also featured
for Montpellier this season, but less regularly.
Lyon also boast a number of South
Africans who could feature - Deon
Fourie, Etienne Oosthuizen and Francois van der Merwe -
but none of those players are expected to come into the Springbok
In Saturday's second semi-final
between Racing 92 and Castres, Erasmus would have been hoping to get a kook
at Pat Lambie.
A knee injury, though, has ruled
Lambie out for a long time and he will not be part of the Bok set-up this
Over in England, meanwhile, the
Aviva Premiership final will be contested between Exeter and Saracens.
Prop Vincent Koch and
hooker Schalk Brits will
turn out for Saracens, while there are no South Africans in the Exeter ranks.