In massive news announced by SA Rugby on Wednesday, the delayed restart of the season will finally get underway next weekend with a double-header planned for the country's top players followed by what can best be described as a "best of the best Springbok Showdown".
While SA Rugby has yet to confirm whether the Springboks will take part in the Rugby Championship later this year in Australia, it is a giant step to start the season next weekend at Loftus in a Super Hero spectacular, followed on 3 October at Newlands with a clash between a Green team and a Gold team, called the Springbok Showdown.
Bok assistant coaches Mzwandile Stick and Deon Davids will coach Springbok Green and Springbok Gold teams respectively for the match at Newlands in Cape Town on 3 October, with Rassie Erasmus (Director of Rugby) and Jacques Nienaber (Springbok coach) acting as the two Team Commissioners.
Regarded as Bok trials, the selection process will take the form of a draft pick from an enlarged squad of 60 players with Green and Gold team bosses taking alternate turns in an old-style "school yard pick" to assemble their match-day squads of 25 players each.
The drama will unfold live on SuperSport, with the enlarged squad set to be announced live on Saturday before the crucial draft pick next week.
For next weekend's action at Loftus, the Bulls will take on the Sharks, while the Lions will face the Stomers, while the new-look local "Currie Cup" competition will start on 10 October, with fixtures to be confirmed at a later stage.
"We're still not in a position to confirm plans for the Springboks, but it remains our wish that they play Tests this year," said SA Rugby Chief executive Jurie Roux.
"It would not only be great to see the Rugby World Cup champions in action, but it would also give the Bok management valuable preparation for next year's tour of the British & Irish Lions."
In what is another first for South African rugby, the local competition will continue over Christmas and New Year and will culminate in the semi-finals (16 January) and a final on 23 January next year.
Erasmus said the clash on 3 October will be an opportunity to see the best of the best available in South Africa square off against each other.
"It promises to be something never seen before, and it will also provide the players with another valuable opportunity to shake of the rust and get the legs and lungs going after not playing any rugby in the last six months," said Erasmus.
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