We are not far from the first test for the Springboks in 2018 when we take on Wales in the USA.
Rassie Erasmus will select his first group of players that will form part of his Springbok side for this year but it is easier said than done.
As we mentioned the last couple of weeks we have some problems in certain positions.
One of them are the number nine jumper and it was identified as a problem area from the start of the season.
There are some overseas option for Erasmus in veteran Pienaar, former Lions number nine Faf De Klerk and if you really want to push it even Cobus Reinach.
Locally we have Ross Cronje, Louis Schreuder, Ivan van Zyl, Embrose Papier, André Warner, Nic Groom and Cameron Wright.
The problem has been with the local nine’s that nobody have been consistent this season with all of them having good games here and there.
Ross Cronje has been injured for most of the season and have not played much for the Lions and he did not really took his change last year with the Boks.
The same can be said about Faf de Klerk but Faf had the added value of playing up north this season for Sale Sharks and it was one of the best seasons we have seen him played.
It is an open question if guys like Scheuder, Van Zyl, Papier, Watson, Groom and Wright has done enough to be looked at for this upcoming series against the English.
We need to start looking at the future so it is maybe not all madness to include one of the local youngsters in the series now.
This will be one of the most interesting picks in Erasmus squad I am looking forward to.
What has come out this week from social media was that Erasmus must pick players on form.
That is easier said than done as at this level you do not only look at form players you also need to look at combinations and the direction you want to take the team.
It is the most difficult aspect of any coach to make sure he pick the players on form, with combinations that will work and also looking further than just the English that are coming.
I believe we can all agree that we have enough of the big men to pick most properly two Springbok packs and that the issues for Erasmus starts and end at the back.
We have three flyhalves in for the running with Du Preez, Jantjies and Pollard.
There has been some life in the midfield this year as well with guys like De Allende, Janse van Rensburg, Am, Kriel, Harold Vorster, Burger Odendaal and André Esterhuizen.
Would also like to see that Frans Steyn back in the mix who can add value at 10 and 15 as well.
On the back three we have also some players that stood out although non of them played consistent throughout the season.
Willie le Roux has been absolutely brilliant for Wasp this season and surely should get a call from Erasmus.
The other sensitive question for Erasmus will be who he will pick as his captain.
Whiteley by Erasmus own admission has been his front runner but another injury has seen Whiteley out for some time now.
Vermeulen is back in the frame after he has finish his contract with Toulon but it is still uncertain if Vermeulen will settle back in South Africa after his french stint.
Etzebeth is still on rehab as he is busy returning to the game which leave the captaincy spot a bit of an uncertainty.
There has also been a call for Kolisi but let’s face it a captain should be a leader and be the best in his position which Kolisi has not been this year for the Stormers.
There will be some difficult decisions to be made and I am sure we will have plenty of discussions after Erasmus pick his squad, the only hope is that he pick right.
Rassie Erasmus (Gallo)