Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has confirmed that overseas-based players Francois Louw, Faf de Klerk and Willie le Roux could remain with the Springboks if the team is hit by injuries or poor results.
Erasmus addressed the speculation around the trio's availability for the tournament on Monday saying that it is not set in stone that they would return to England after a certain number of Rugby Championship Tests.
South Africa are already without Duane Vermeulen who will miss the Rugby Championship due to club commitments in Japan.
Erasmus explained that they could keep the trio in the squad for the entirety of competition under World Rugby regulations:
‘We could enforce Regulation 9 [the World Rugby rule that ensures club players are available for their Test teams during the designated international windows]. We could have all of those guys available for the whole Rugby Championship.
‘We have to think about the World Cup, though, and what we will do if guys like Duane and Faf are injured. We have to look at a few of the other guys in the context of next year.
‘We want to be reasonable,’ the Bok coach added, referring to the needs of the overseas-based players and the relationship that exists between SA Rugby and the respective clubs. ‘We don’t want to be selfish, and we want to grow this team with the World Cup in mind.’
Erasmus said that Louw, De Klerk and Le Roux may remain with the squad if the Springboks have injuries or fare poorly over the next few weeks.
‘We will handle it on a case-by-case basis,’ said Erasmus. ‘There is a chance those players will go back, say after the Australasian tour. A good chance. But if we have a lot of injuries and are under pressure after a few bad results, we may keep them back.’
Story via: sarugbymag