Cape Town – As a 36-man Springbok camp takes place in Bloemfontein this week, coach Rassie Erasmus must decide which players to cut before he names a 31-man squad on Monday for this year‘s Rugby World Cup in Japan. 

It means that at least five players in the Bloemfontein camp will receive the bad news between now and then and it could six if Marcell Coetzee, not at the Bloemfontein camp because of a concussion, is picked in the final squad. 

Here, we look at the players who are most under threat this week. 

Thomas du Toit 

The Sharks prop is unlikely to make the trip to Japan. He does have the ability to play as a swinger on both sides of the scrum, but the Boks have that already with the in-form Trevor Nyakane, who is almost certainly on the plane. 

Lizo Gqoboka 

The loosehead position is well-stocked with Tendai Mtawarira and Steve Kitshoff certain to crack the nod. Erasmus is expected to take five props, so Gqoboka‘s chances will depend on whether the coach opts for an extra loosehead or tighthead. 

Vincent Koch 

With Frans Malherbe and Nyakane the favoured tightheads, the exact same principal applies to Koch. It looks to be between him and Gqoboka for the final prop slot. 

Rynhardt Elstadt 

The Stormers loosie is a bruiser and offers so much both on attack and defence, but that is a department where the Boks are also well-stocked. He might be given a look-in if Coetzee is unable to recover from the concussion he picked up against Argentina on Saturday. 

Marvin Orie

He has been impressive in the limited opportunities he has had in Bok colours so far, but Japan seems a long way off for the Lions lock. Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Franco Mostert and RG Snyman will be picked instead. 

Andre Esterhuizen 

The physical No 12 is well behind Damian de Allende in the pecking order, while the return of Frans Steyn to the set-up further dents his chances of booking a World Cup ticket. 

Warrick Gelant 

Willie le Roux is expected to be backed as the Bok fullback in Japan, and the inclusion of Steyn and Cheslin Kolbe as cover in that position leaves Gelant in danger of missing out. 

Erasmus will name his 31-man squad on Monday, August 26 at 15:00. 

The 36-man Springbok squad who have assembled for the RWC camp in Bloemfontein are:

Forwards (21)

Schalk Brits (Bulls), Lood de Jager (Bulls), Thomas du Toit (Sharks), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse, France), Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), Lizo Gqoboka (Bulls), Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), Vincent Koch (Saracens, England), Siya Kolisi (Stormers), Francois Louw (Bath, England), Frans Malherbe (Stormers), Malcolm Marx (Lions), Bongi Mbonambi (Stormers), Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Franco Mostert (Gloucester, England), Trevor Nyakane (Bulls), Marvin Orie (Lions), Kwagga Smith (Lions), RG Snyman (Bulls), Duane Vermeulen (Bulls)

Backs (15)

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Lukhanyo Am (Sharks), Damian de Allende (Stormers), Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, England), André Esterhuizen (Sharks), Warrick Gelant (Bulls), Elton Jantjies (Lions), Herschel Jantjies (Stormers), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse, France), Jesse Kriel (Bulls), Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks), Sbu Nkosi (Sharks), Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz, Japan), Handré Pollard (Bulls), Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints, England), Frans Steyn (Montpellier, France)