WINGED OUT: Raymond Rhule

The 2017 season was yet another disappointing one for the Springboks.  

And while it may be the end of the road for some of the national team coaches, there are a few players that might just have started their last matches in the Green and Gold. 

Sad as it may be, the likes of Raymond Rhule, Francois Hougaard and Ruan Dreyer probably won't start a Test match again. 
Let’s start with Rhule. 

LEFT BEHIND: Francois Hougaard

 Coach Allister Coetzee’s first-choice right wing failed big time throughout the year and didn’t play a single game on their tour of Europe at the end of the season. 

With Dillyn Leyds now being preferred in this position and with Ruan Combrinck also on the road to recovery, it’s tough to see Rhule in the No.14 jumper in the future. 

At scrumhalf, Francois Hougaard was called up from his club Worcester Warriors in England. 
Unfortunately for the 29-year-old he failed to make an impact while at the Boks and was axed from their year-end tour squad. Tough to see him cracking the nod in 2018 even with the Boks short on stock in this position. 
Then there’s Ruan Dreyer. 

TIGHT AT PROP: Dreyer

With Frans Malherbe out this season, Dreyer started at tighthead prop against France in June. He went on to play in three more Test, but by the end of year – even with Coenie Oosthuizen also out, Wilco Louw was the preferred choice in the No.3 jumper. 
There are also the likes of Lionel Mapoe and Damian de Allende, both centres, who will have to star in next season’s Super Rugby tournament if they want to make the cut. 
Louis Schreuder is yet another player that made his debut in the last match against Wales, but whether he will play for the Boks again remains to be seen. 
The careers of Chiliboy Ralepelle and Uzair Cassiem – especially if all the looseforwards in the country are fit again – will also make for interesting monitoring. 
With Lions duo Jaco Kriel and Warren Whiteley, the Sharks’ Jean-Luc du Preez all recovering from injuries and Duane Vermeulen's possible return to SA, it's tough to see Cassiem cracking the nod in 2018.

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