Both outside backs were members of the national squad throughout the international season, but with neither player being involved in Saturday’s season-ending Test against England at Twickenham, the Springboks have agreed to release them for Vodacom United Rugby Championship duty.

“We completed the bulk of on our on-field preparations on Wednesday, and our only remaining training session is our captains run on Friday, so it made sense to release Sbu and Aphelele to the Cell C Sharks,” said Nienaber.

“With our squad already selected for Saturday’s Test against England and all positions covered in terms of depth within the touring squad should there be any last-minute withdrawals, we thought it would be beneficial for these players to get back into fold with the Sharks who are preparing for their Vodacom United Rugby Championship match against the Scarlets next weekend.”

Fassi made his Test debut against Georgia in July and earned his second Test cap against Argentina in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, scoring a try in each of those matches, while Nkosi, who boasts 16 Test caps, proved to be a key member of the team in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, facing Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.