The Springboks, who haven’t played a Test since winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, could make a return to the international arena against Argentina in Bloemfontein next year.
The Springboks last played on November 2, 2019 when they memorably beat England 32-12 in the World Cup final in Yokohama.
But with the British & Irish Lions tour looming in mid-2021, there’s urgency to arrange Test-calibre opposition for Jacques Nienaber’s men.
SA Rugby president Mark Alexander recently confirmed that two Tests and a training camp in Bloemfontein were being considered as preparation for the arrival of their visitors.
However, there’s a distinct lack of viable options with England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales ruled out as they form part of the British & Irish Lions.
France and Italy would be frowned upon as they form part of the Six Nations, while New Zealand and Australia will be busy with the domestic tournament in the months leading up to the British & Irish Lions’ tour.
That leaves Argentina, Japan and the USA as the most likely opponents.
However, whether Argentina will be able to count on their numerous European-based players or whether their squad will resemble a Super Rugby Jaguares-type selection, remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, the Springboks could also face a British Barbarians side, also in Bloemfontein, next year.