Rassie Erasmus rooting for Bok star Sbu Nkosi after Bulls exit

Rassie Erasmus rooting for Bok star Sbu Nkosi after Bulls exit

South Africa's Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus hopes that Sbu Nkosi can still work his way into the reckoning for Springbok selection after being released by the Bulls this week.

Nkosi, who was part of the Boks' 2019 World Cup-winning squad, has not played for the Boks since the global showpiece in Japan four years ago and has fallen behind the likes of fellow wings Makazole Mapimpi, Cheslin Kolbe, Kurt-Lee Arendse and Canan Moodie in the pecking order.

Late last year, Nkosi went missing for three weeks and he was reported missing by the Bulls during that time. He was eventually found at his father's house in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga and admitted that he was struggling with his mental health.

He returned to the team in February, but on Monday the Bulls confirmed they had parted ways with the 27-year-old by mutual consent.

"Looking at his age and how well he played for us, we just hope that we can see him somewhere as soon as possible to make himself a contender again and we [can] start comparing him to other players," said Erasmus.

"Hopefully he stays in South Africa because that will be fantastic. If he goes abroad to the French Top 14 or he goes to Japan, the nice thing is that we have worked with him and we can follow how he is doing.

"I never talk about players' personal lives and I also don't know the insides of what is going on there, but we just hope that as soon as possible we can see him somewhere.

"That will allow us to judge or rate him against the guys who are playing in the Springboks team on Saturday."

Erasmus said the Springbok management is working with several players and some of them are receiving professional help for various personal problems which they are dealing with.

"The squad has 41 players and we have worked together since 2018. You are like a father because you get to know that there are a lot of people struggling with a lot of things," he added.

"I am not referring to Sbu specifically now, but some of the problems that players have are known and some are not known out there. Some players are handling themselves and with others we are a little bit involved and [with] some there is professional help.

"Overall, when we talk about players, we must talk about them as people and we mustn't always discuss their personal lives out there to everyone. I don't have insights but he must just get back on the field and I hope he is OK.

"Wherever we can assist, if there is something, on or off the field, we will definitely try to support him."