Its the 2nd of July and you're climbing into an Uber and heading over to Loftus to watch the 1st test of the Incoming tour against Wales. The Springboks have selected a strong team to face the men from the North. A healthy balance has been struck between World Cup winners and for the first time as World Champions, the Boks will run out in front of a home crowd.
Test 1 against Wales will likely not see too much change from the side that was heavily relied on in 2021. Jacques Nienaber will want to kick off the year on a winning note, and will know it is much easier to blood youngsters in a team with some momentum on their side. Winning test 1 will take pressure off for the coming tests and will allow room for some tinkering with the squad.
As it stands however, there will definitely be one injury enforced change in the starting XV. With Duane Vermeulen unavailable, the Boks will need to start someone else at the back of the scrum. Jasper Wiese was the main man relied on in Thor's absence in 2021, but should he continue in the roll? Wiese will be playing in the Prem final for Leicester Tigers against Saracens this weekend and he is definitely a quality player. I do not however want to see him handed the Bok #8 jersey for this series.
Siya Kolisi and Pieter-Steph Du Toit will surely be pulling on the 6 and 7 jersey respectfully so who will join them? I want to see Evan Roos given an opportunity to start with a full strength Bok side in test 1. He is an incredibly mobile player and combining his at PSDT's work rate, they will have the Welsh gasping for air on the highveld. It would give the Boks some explosive power to counter the likes of Faletau and Navidi, whilst ensuring there is depth being established at 8.
There are other customers also vying for the 8 jersey with Elrigh Louw as a traditional 8, whilst Marcell Coetzee and Kwagga Smith are equally comfortable at the back of the scrum. For me Coetzee is the perfect 'bomb squad' member as his ability to play anywhere in the loose trio provides the perfect back up from the bench. In Louw's case I would love to see him get a start in the 2nd or 3rd test of the series, to prove what he brings to the table too.
Whatever the make up of our loosies come test day, I will be 100% behind the Bokke come 2 July and truly can't wait to see them run out to the sound of Impi blaring through the Loftus speakers.