Springbok second-rowers Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit said they understand they cannot always play together.
The Stormers giants say they get why they cannot always start with each other considering the amount of lock competition in the squad with Lions player Franco Mostert and Cheetahs lock Lood de Jager
"Myself and Eben have a special relationship. We are good friends and understand each other," Du Toit told Netwerk24.
"I know people believe that success in a national team is achieved when you take players who combine well at a local level and pick them for international rugby. But that’s not always a coach’s plan, especially if you have a strong group of locks."
Etzebeth agreed and said it must be a difficult task for the coach to pick the starting second-row pair.
"It’s nice to play with Pieter-Steph next to me, but I do understand why we cannot necessarily always play together at Springbok level. I don’t want to be the national selectors who have to choose between the two of us and Lood de Jager and Franco Mostert. It’s an unenviable task," Etzebeth said.