A number of Springbok battles are set to be waged across the park when the Stormers take on the Bulls in the United Rugby Championship (URC) final in Cape Town this coming weekend.
After the Bok squad for the international season was named over the past weekend, both the Stormers and the Bulls had a number of players featuring, as they should considering they have been the best two SA side’s in the URC this season and made the final.
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Props Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe, locks Salmaan Moerat and Marvin Orie, loose forwards Deon Fourie and Evan Roos, scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies, utility back Damian Willemse and fullback Warrick Gelant make up the Stormers contingent.
The Bulls representatives are lock Ruan Nortje, loose forwards Marcell Coetzee and Elrigh Louw, injured flyhalf Johan Goosen and utility back Kurt-Lee Arendse.
Among those players a number of personal battles should be waged on the field as they look to help their side be crowned URC champions, while also looking to impress the Bok selectors ahead of the Welsh series next month.
A huge loose forward battle should be on the cards as Coetzee and Fourie, and Roos and Louw, go head to head in what should be an enthralling show as they will be vying for the same positions with the Boks.
With Duane Vermeulen having been left out of the Bok squad because of injury, the battle between Roos and Louw should be fierce as they fight for what could possibly be a starting berth in the Bok setup.
Coetzee and Fourie will unfortunately be down the pecking order behind Bok captain Siya Kolisi, but with Coetzee able to play across the back three, his versatility could see him become a very useful bench player.
The locks will also be on show, with Ruan Nortje eager to prove his worth against Marvin Orie for the number five jumper, but both will also be down the order behind Franco Mostert and Lood de Jager, which means they will want to stand out even more.
In the backline Warrick Gelant and Kurt-Lee Arendse will be the two players eager to stake a claim and prove their worth in the final.
Gelant has already represented the Boks and even has a World Cup medal, but missed out on selection last year after falling out of favour.
He has come roaring back this season, starring for the Stormers over the season and with question marks still remaining on whether Willie le Roux should be the Bok fullback incumbent, he will be eager to put in another big performance.
Arendse has been a revelation for the Bulls at fullback this season, putting in a number of sparkling performances, and although having just come back from injury he will hope to have his starting berth back for the final and will want to impress to justify his inclusion with the Boks.