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The flame still burns for Bismarck du Plessis and his hopes of a Springboks return

Bismarck du Plessis remains confident he can get back into the Springboks fold three years after his last cap.

The Montpellier hooker would have to oust reigning South Africa Player of the Year Malcolm Marx for a place in the starting XV, but his form in the Top 14 continues to go from strength-to-strength off the back of a call-up for the June Tests against England.

Du Plessis, along with overseas-based Frans Steyn, played no part in the series against Eddie Jones’ men after sustaining a minor injury in the Top 14 final. But the philosophy of head coach Rassie Erasmus choosing not to turn a blind eye to the country’s exported talent gives the veteran hooker reason to be optimistic that he will play for the Springboks again.

“I still have a real desire to play for the Springboks,” the 34-year-old told KweseESPN.

“I put my heart into playing for the national team and that remains my ambition. I have always given everything I have for the national team and if I get the chance again, that will not change.

“It is definitely something I want to do and hopefully that chance comes again.”

Du Plessis has not played for South Africa since the third-place final at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The relaxing of the selection criteria by Erasmus most recently saw Toulouse full-back Cheslin Kolbe win his debut cap, as the Springboks followed up their uplifting 36-34 victory over the All Blacks in Wellington with a 23-12 win over the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship.

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