The Springboks have lost only once in their past six Tests, gathering the momentum and consistency requested of them by Erasmus, and he has charged Saturday’s Boks to up the ante against Argentina.
“No matter what has happened before this weekend, the momentum we will go to the World Cup with will depend on what happens on Saturday,” Erasmus said.
“Some of these players will know they are on the plane but for others it is make or break – and even if they don’t make the plane there will be six standby roles to be identified.
“We’ve picked a formidable pack and we saw what the backline did against Australia so I am really excited to see what they can do on Saturday to prove their own case and also show just how strong South African rugby is.”
Erasmus said Brits had temporarily taken the captaincy as Kolisi’s role was likely to be a short one.
“I’ve asked Siya to empty his tank and go as hard for as long as he can,” said Erasmus.
“I’ve told him he might even come off in the first half. He has played less than 50 minutes of Currie Cup rugby in the last 12 weeks but I needed him to have a taste of Test rugby again before we leave for Japan.”
Vice-captain Elton Jantjies will take over the leadership role in the event of Brits being replaced – opening the way for a debut by Scarra Ntubeni. The DHL Stormers hooker toured with the Springboks in 2013 and 2014 but has had a long wait to pull on the jersey for the first time in a Test.
Erasmus said the split between six forwards and two backs on the bench was to provide extra looseforward cover for Kolisi’s cameo return.
Frans Steyn would cover all of flyhalf, centre and fullback with Faf de Klerk the only other back replacement.
Season sensation Herschel Jantjies was slated to provide scrumhalf cover but he was withdrawn on Tuesday following a blow to his head in training. It is not expected to affect his potential inclusion in the Rugby World Cup squad.