Bok coach Rassie Erasmus cast his net wide when calling up players to his training camp in Pretoria this week. South African fans will have taken note of the large contingent of overseas players who have the opportunity to prove themselves.
Leading online bookmaker, World Sports Betting has priced up on which Springboks will take to the field against New Zealand in our World Cup opener in around 3 months time. Every position is priced up and while there are some very short priced favourites like Siya Kolisi at 1/16 to wear the number 6 jersey and Malcolm Marx at 1/12 to wear the number 2 jersey, there are a couple of positions that are up for grabs.
The first relatively open position is the number 3 jersey where Frans Malherbe is the 7/10 favourite with Wilco Louw 22/10 and you can get 9/2 and better about other players.
The bet that jumps out in the pack was highlighted to me by Couch Critic a regular on my YouTube videos as well as a writer on the Goodforthegame website. Couch noted that Franco Mostert is the favourite to wear the number 5 jersey, but he believes that the Blue Bulls RG Snyman could well be the first choice when we run out against the All Blacks. Snyman is priced at a tempting 5/2.
The number 9 jersey looks almost nailed down for Faf de Klerk who is 1/3, but Cobus Reinach who has also been plying his trade overseas may be worth an interest to dislodge him at 2/1.
There were plenty of people who reacted to the fact that Frans Steyn has been called up to the squad and few will forget how he burst on to the scene as a youngster to help win the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Damian de Allende is a 1/4 favourite to wear number 12 and you can get 25/1 about Frans Steyn, a bet that at least one member of our Goodforthegame Forum is taking (Note: this price has now shortened to 10/1).
One player who has been getting exceptional reviews overseas is Cheslin Kolbe and while he is a 13/10 second favourite to play on the right wing, I actually think he might have a sneak of knocking incumbent Willie le Roux out of the fullback berth and will be taking a small interest in the 7/1 that he wears the number 15 jersey.
This article was written for the CitiGaming supplement of the Citizen Newspaper and was published on the 27 of June 2019.