South Africa’s Bismarck du Plessis and Frans Steyn to miss first Test against England

Rassie Erasmus says Bismarck du Plessis and Frans Steyn will not play for South Africa in Saturday’s first Test against England.

The pair are not scheduled to join the camp before midweek after playing in Montpellier’s Top 14 final defeat to Castres.

“I won’t consider them this week just because they haven’t trained with us much, and it wouldn’t be fair on the guys that have been with us here this whole time,” said Erasmus.

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“I also want to see what they look like when they get here.”

Du Plessis, 34, was set to make his first appearance for the Springboks since the 2015 World Cup, recalled to fill the void left by the injured Malcom Marx.

Steyn, 31, had also been expected to start at inside centre.

Erasmus arrived back in South Africa on Monday after losing his first game in charge against Wales in Washington.

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“There is no doubt that we saw that there is potential but we were perhaps lacking the experience, and the combinations were a bit disrupted,” said the former Munster coach.

“Most of the guys who stayed behind have a bit more experience and we will need that against England.”

South Africa travelled to the US last week without the majority of their first-choice players.

“We’ve tried to put ourselves in the best position to win these first two games, although the second Test is where we can probably pick a combination out of these two teams that played, to ensure we have the strongest possible side.

“We’ve had to split our resources but the expectation should still be to beat England in the series.”

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South Africa play England in three Tests with the second match in Bloemfontein on June 16 and the last in Cape Town on June 23. All games are live on Sky Sports Action.

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