Having won the Rugby Championship by chopping and changing his team and getting his plans ready for next month’s World Cup in Japan, Erasmus admits that there are still a few boxes that need to be ticked.
The coach explains: “There are still a lot of work-ons.
“We’ve ticked a few boxes, [but] some guys need game time, some guys must pass fitness tests, some guys still have to get their form back.
“If you think about it, this weekend’s game is very important in that regard.
“We only have the Japanese game in Japan before we play the All Blacks.
“It’s important to see who is really 100 percent ready to make that squad.”
Let’s break it down a bit.
In terms of game time, there are a number of players that were either tourists in the Rugby Championship or coming back from injury.
Among the backs, Warrick Gelant only played in the first match against Australia, while Sbu Nkosi is another player that will come into the equation in the back three.
In the midfield, Andre Esterhuizen also only played one match, while it will be a good idea to take a closer look at Frans Steyn in terms of starting the match.
Steyn might be a surprise at flyhalf, with Erasmus still looking at his third option in this position as Handre Pollard and Elton Jantjies will go to Japan.
At No.9 Faf de Klerk and Herschel Jantjies will have their bags packed already, with Cobus Reinach not having had enough game.
Among the loosies, the return of fit-again skipper Siya Kolisi is a blessing, but Erasmus might opt to give him a few minutes off the bench, allowing Rynhardt Elstadt and Marcell Coetzee to show what they can do.
At lock, Marvin Orie and Lood de Jager will also look to get their boxes ticked, while Schalk Brits should get a chance at hooker.
Sharing the front-row with him should be Vincent Koch and Thomas du Toit, who also have points to prove.
So while the result won’t mean a thing, this match will serve as the final trial for the World Cup squad.
Possible Bok starting XV:
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Frans Steyn, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Schalk Brits and 1 Thomas du Toit.