Cape Town – Whenever the Springboks head north for their end of year tour in November, there are inevitably one or two ‘bolters’ picked in the touring squad.
2018 will be no different.
Sport24 understands that the Western Province duo of Sergeal Petersen and JD Schickerling will be named in Rassie Erasmus’ squad for Tests against England, France, Scotland and Wales.
The squad is expected to contain as many as 35 players.
Both players are expected to play in Saturday’s Currie Cup final against the Sharks at Newlands, and both have had superb tournaments to date.
The 24-year-old Petersen’s call-up is largely down to the fact that he is the leading try scorer in the tournament this year with eight tries.
He has been sublime form, with his electric pace and finishing abilities standout features.
There is, of course, serious competition on the wing with Aphiwe Dyantyi, S’bu Nkosi and Cheslin Kolbe all having put their hands up at different times this year.
Petersen has come close to Test match rugby in the past.
Under Allister Coetzee is 2016, he played against the Barbarians at Twickenham while he was also a member of the SA ‘A’ side that took on the English Saxons the same year.
Schickerling’s selection, meanwhile, would come as more of a surprise.
Lock is a position where the Boks are seemingly well-stocked with Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert, RG Snyman and Pieter-Steph du Toit all featuring throughout the year so far.
There is also the return of Lood de Jager to consider, with 25-year-old Bulls man currently with a 20-man Bok camp in Stellenbosch.
De Jager, though, has not played any rugby since May when he suffered a pectoral tear. He may be eased back into action, while Schickerling is fit and in form.
Mostert, meanwhile, remains at the centre of a battle for his services between the Lions and English club Gloucester.
As a result, he was left out of the camp currently in Stellenbosch.
With Tendai Mtawarira out with a neck injury, Western Province prop Ali Vermaak was also reported to have been on Erasmus’ radar.
That selection now seems unlikely, though, with Bulls front-rower Trevor Nyakane set to get the nod.
Springbok selection would complete a remarkable story for Schickerling (23), who broke his neck in 2014 in a moment that threatened to leave him paralysed.
The Boks take on England at Twickenham on November 3 in their first end of year assignment, followed by matches against France, Scotland and Wales on consecutive weekends thereafter.