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When it came to the first Springbok alignment camp of the year, a wide variety of players were included by coach Rassie Erasmus, who rewarded a host of domestic players.

Of course, the vast majority of the ‘newcomers’ will be released once the first-choice Test squad is selected, but it was still very interesting to see who was included. As well as who wasn’t!

One of the real surprise omissions was that of Stormers veteran Deon Fourie, who played a key role during the 2023 World Cup campaign.

Considering Fourie is now 37 years old, many thought this was perhaps an indication that he was no longer part of the Springboks’ planning at the start of a new four-year World Cup cycle.

The utility forward certainly won’t make it to another World Cup, but Rassie Erasmus has also revealed that Fourie is still part of the mix, most probably due to the fact that his leadership and experience will add real value.

Erasmus has explained that there was simply no need to include Fourie in a preliminary alignment camp just yet, but there is every reason to believe he will be recalled to the squad later in the year.

Mixed news for another Springbok hopeful

Another surprise omission was Stormers loose forward Hacjivah Dayimani, who has become a fan favourite after producing a series of eye-catching performances at franchise level.

Yet, when speaking to the media in Cape Town, Bok coach Erasmus explained why Dayimani at this stage needs to add a few more elements to his all-round game in order to be considered.

“We certainly looked at Hacjivah,” Erasmus stated. “When we looked at his roadmap, and I am not talking specifically about him, I am talking about other loose forwards competing with other loose forwards and how many battles you get into and how many battles you win.

“If you look at hookers and you look at how many tries they scored then all of them should be Springboks. They are at the back of a maul and they score eight tries.

“We look at your workrate and your understanding. When you make a tackle, do you dominate that tackle?… There are a lot of players that are really good, but they are not complete. Hacjivah is not out of the mix in terms of playing a Test match this year. There is always a possibility.”

Could Dayimani head overseas?

The loose forward’s omission from the first Bok camp comes at a time when there have been rumours that he could be considering a move overseas.

However, Stormers coach John Dobson has reminded everyone that the talented player still remains firmly under contract.

“He is under contract here until the end of June 2025,” Dobson said.

“So he has the rest of this season and next season under contract here. So I can’t see us…it would have to be a really compelling argument to release Hacjivah, the way he has played this season.

“I am not sure where that comes from.”

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