Off the back of their memorable victory against the All Blacks in New Zealand, South Africa still have two games left in this years Rugby Championship. They face Australia in their next game at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and then finish the competition against the All Blacks in Pretoria.
Albeit these remaining fixtures are both home fixtures, they will not be anything like easy games for the Boks. New Zealand will be hunting revenge and Australia, who have had a fairly poor Championship so far by their standards, will want to defeat the re-vitalised Springboks so they can make it 2 from 2 for the Championship against them.
South Africa have made it clear that 5 of their players will not be available for the reminder of the Rugby Championship for various reasons. Damian De Allende (centre), Lukhanyo Am (centre) and Makazole Mapimpi (wing) will all miss the games due to injury woes and on top of that it has also been confirmed that Wasps full back Willie le Roux and Bath loose forward Francois Louw won’t be returning for the conclusion of the tournament.
Le Roux and Louw are both returning to their English clubs in the Gallagher Premiership as they have both already missed games for them to play in the competition.
The experience of Francois Louw will of course be missed by the Boks, however it is their Talisman Willie le Roux who will be a greater loss to the team. He was at the heart of South Africa’s win over New Zealand and is by far the most experienced back in South Africa’s squad.
If Le Roux remained with the Springboks for the entire Championship he would miss six Premiership matches and only return just before the European Champions Cup begins. Dai Young is happy that the full-back’s international career has been re-ignited, however I’m sure he will be eagerly awaiting his return as he will be a key member of the Wasp’s team in helping them achieve a top four spot this season.
The real question is do the Springboks have the depth within their squad get two wins from the remainder of the competition.