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Big Springboks Squad announced

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The selection of eight uncapped players and the return of a further six are the features of the Springbok squad named on Saturday for the five matches leading up to the Rugby World Cup later this season.

 

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In addition to the 36 squad members, the national selectors have identified 13 players who are currently injured or will be in rehabilitation, but will form part of an extended squad for the matches against the World XV, Castle Lager Rugby Championship and the Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires.

The uncapped players in the squad are Scarra Ntubeni, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Rudy Paige, Faf de Klerk, Jesse Kriel, Franco Mostert and Lionel Mapoe.

Back in the Springbok fold after not featuring in any Springbok Tests last year, are Elton Jantjies, Frans Steyn, Jaque Fourie, Heinrich Brüssow, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Heinke van der Merwe.

The currently injured players included in the squad are Springbok captain Jean de Villiers, Mapoe, Brüssow, Du Toit, Steyn, Coenie Oosthuizen, Lood de Jager, Duane Vermeulen, Cobus Reinach, Pat Lambie, Jaque Fourie, Jan Serfontein and Fourie du Preez. The latter suffered a knee injury while training with his Japanese club earlier this week.

“It’s a long list of injured players but all of them are in the selection frame and we’d like to work with them to assist with their rehabilitation,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

“Some of them are close to full fitness and they will start training as soon as possible. We’ll assess and manage all the injured players individually with their return to play in mind and will do what is the best for the player and the team, even if it means that some of them play for their clubs or provinces if deemed necessary by our medical team and in consultation with their unions.

“Coenie Oosthuizen has been selected, but he has a neck injury which will rule him out of joining the squad immediately. We will wait for medical clarity to ensure we do what is best for Coenie before a decision is made on the way forward.

“Even though Jaque Fourie announced that he had retired from Test rugby late last year, we have had positive talks with him and his club, Kobe in Japan, and an agreement was reached that he will be available for one last season of Test rugby. As soon as he’s back to full fitness, we’ll consider him for selection.

“Jean de Villiers’ rehabilitation is going very well but his return to play will be strictly monitored before an announcement in this regard is made.”

Ntubeni (hooker), Paige (scrumhalf) and Mapoe (outside back) have been part of Springbok tour squads before, but this will be the first involvement at international level for De Klerk (scrumhalf), as well as Mostert (lock), Kitshoff and Koch (both props).

Meyer added that Vodacom Super Rugby form weighed heavily and as always there were a number of players who were desperately close to selection, but just missed out in the end.

“This is testament to the great depth we’ve managed to build in most positions over the last few years. It’s good to know we have players outside this squad who will be able to slot in should it be necessary,” said the Springbok coach.

“Scarra has been with us before and he has done a great job specifically in the scrums with Vincent, Steven and Frans Malherbe for the DHL Stormers this year.

“Lionel, Franco, Faf and Elton have been part of the ever-improving Emirates Lions, while Rudy and Jesse grabbed their opportunities for the Vodacom Bulls this season.

Meyer added that he was pleased to have Van der Merwe, Du Toit, Brüssow, Steyn and Fourie back with the Springboks.

“They are players with international experience and we know what they can do. It will be great to welcome them back into the Springbok fold and I know they will add value,” said the Springbok coach.

“It was great to see players such as Morné, Heinke, Bryan, Schalk Brits and Francois play in and win finals with their clubs in Europe.”

“We also talked to Andries Bekker as we wanted to consider him for selection, but upon a request from his club in Japan he was ultimately not picked for the squad at this stage. Hopefully he will be available at a later stage during the season.

“Flip van der Merwe was on our radar but ultimately he has decided to rule himself out of Springbok contention.”

Meyer said that he didn’t want to go into the 2015 Test season without exploring all options available to the Springboks.

“We will be guided by our medical team and specialists to ensure no stone is left unturned as we manage the injured players’ return to play. The players who have been included in the squad because of injuries to others must use this opportunity to break down the door to ensure they remain part of the squad as we look forward to the World Cup.

“As certain players regain fitness, others will be sent back to their provinces, but that doesn’t mean they are out of our thinking completely as the door to World Cup selection will never be fully closed. We talked to every player we thought could add value and considered every option available to us.

“The next five matches, before we finalise the squad for the Rugby World Cup, will be very important as we want to ensure the right 31 players are on the plane to England on September 11.

“We have done a lot of planning and research and are well-prepared for the season. We’ll use the matches against the World XV, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina to fine tune where necessary, but the next two months also provide the players with an opportunity to put themselves in contention to make the World Cup squad.”

The Springbok squad is (in alphabetical order):

Willem Alberts (Cell C Sharks), Loose forward, 32 Test caps
Schalk Brits (Saracens, England), Hooker, 7
Schalk Burger (DHL Stormers / Suntory, Japan), Loose forward, 75
Marcell Coetzee (Cell C Sharks), Loose forward, 26
Damian De Allende (DHL Stormers), Centre, 3
Faf de Klerk (Emirates Lions / Steval Pumas), Scrumhalf, 0
Bismarck du Plessis (Cell C Sharks), Hooker, 70
Jannie du Plessis (Cell C Sharks), Prop, 62
Eben Etzebeth (DHL Stormers), Lock, 33
Elton Jantjies (Emirates Lions), Flyhalf, 2
Bryan Habana (Toulon, France), Wing, 106
Cornal Hendricks (Toyota Cheetahs), Wing, 11
Zane Kirchner (Leinster, Ireland), Wing / Fullback, 29 Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers), Prop, 0
Vincent Koch (DHL Stormers / Steval Pumas), Prop, 0
Siya Kolisi (DHL Stormers), Loose forward, 10
Jesse Kriel (Vodacom Bulls), Fullback, 0
Willie le Roux (Toyota Cheetahs), Fullback / Wing, 25
Francois Louw (Bath, England), Loose forward, 34
Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers), Prop, 4
Victor Matfield (Vodacom Bulls), Lock, 121
Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje (Toyota Cheetahs), Loose forward, 7
Franco Mostert (Emirates Lions), Lock, 0
Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks), Prop, 64
Lwazi Mvovo (Cell C Sharks), Wing, 10
Scarra Ntubeni (DHL Stormers), Hooker, 0
Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls), Prop, 13
Rudy Paige (Vodacom Bulls), Scrumhalf, 0
Ruan Pienaar (Ulster, N Ireland), Scrumhalf, 80
JP Pietersen (Cell C Sharks), Centre / Wing, 59
Handré Pollard (Vodacom Bulls), Flyhalf, 9
Morné Steyn (Stade Francais, France), Flyhalf, 59
Adriaan Strauss (Vodacom Bulls), Hooker, 44
Heinke van der Merwe (Stade Francais, France), Prop, 4
Marcel van der Merwe (Vodacom Bulls), Prop, 4
Warren Whiteley (Emirates Lions), Loose forward, 2

Injured / Conditioning squad:

Heinrich Brüssow (Toyota Cheetahs / Docomo, Japan), Loose forward, 20
Lood de Jager (Toyota Cheetahs), Lock, 9
Jean de Villiers (DHL Stormers), Centre, 106
Fourie du Preez (Suntory, Japan), Scrumhalf, 70
Pieter-Steph du Toit (Cell C Sharks), Lock, 2
Jaque Fourie (Kobe, Japan), Centre, 72
Patrick Lambie (Cell C Sharks), Flyhalf / Fullback, 40
Lionel Mapoe (Emirates Lions), Centre, 0
Coenie Oosthuizen (Toyota Cheetahs), Prop, 21
Cobus Reinach (Cell C Sharks), Scrumhalf, 6
Jan Serfontein (Vodacom Bulls), Centre, 20
Frans Steyn (Cell C Sharks), Centre, 53
Duane Vermeulen (DHL Stormers), No 8, 29

 

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37 COMMENTS

  1. This gives us nothing on what Meyers final team will looked at…but at least we have the right names in backs and forwards and some we did not expect to be there

  2. “Meyer added that Vodacom Super Rugby form weighed heavily and as always there were a number of players who were desperately close to selection, but just missed out in the end.”

    If that is true were the hell is Jaco Kriel ?????

  3. “This is testament to the great depth we’ve managed to build in most positions over the last few years.”

    Naming every half decent player in RSA does not equate to ‘quality depth at test level’… plenty of the above would come nowhere near the Aus/Eng/Wel/Ire sides…

    Leaving Kriel out in light of Hooper and Ardi Savea’s sublime speed particularly when Brussouw has lost so much pace is a no-no…

    Bok loose trio is SLOW no matter who you pick… only Kolisi has pace but then how many times must the poor guy be shown up trying to play open-sider…

    Ho hum… wake me up when the 23 for the next test is up!

  4. Al I actually seeing brussow in that squad or do I need glasses ???

    Bout time – tjoughy everyone been telling me he is injured

  5. Not a bad squad but this is the first time in 4 years that I am sad about it. Its nice to see names like Brussouw and Britz….but Kirchner being picked over Combrink…..or Mvovo over Sithole?

    “Meyer added that Vodacom Super Rugby form weighed heavily and as always there were a number of players who were desperately close to selection, but just missed out in the end.”

    Unlikely, im sure it player a part but i dont believe that it “weighed heavily”. Because where is Kriel….in that case…

  6. @Ruggaworld:

    While I think Jaco Kriel should have been included….
    Comparing his exclusion with that of the Sunking – The beacon which will guide the WorldCup ship safely into the harbor of Victory…..

    Is really over the top.

  7. You know why there are not more comments?

    Frequent commenters are too busy toasting brandys & dancing jigs due to the inclusion of Morne Steyn in the squad camp.

  8. Can you imagine the $$$ scalpers will get for tickets outside of games where its been announced Schalk Brits & Messerschmitt-Willie will be on the field at the same time?!?!!!

  9. These squads mean jackshit – no ways most of those players including Brussow or the WP props will be included in the RWC team lineup.

    I think this is going to he an even more Oupa side than we thought. Morne steyn has got a recall as has jacques fourie.

  10. @Americano: I know Americano but to say that you have looked at form then you pick players who was below even Vodacom cup form and excluded a guy who was not just in SA and our team of the week every week but all over and then not even having in a useless big group like this one does not make sense from a man I respect allot.

    I know this is not a WC squad or even a Rugby Champions squad but certain picks over local guys who showed they are great like Combrink, Boom and Kriel just does not make sense in my world.

    I really hope my trust in the man Meyer still are there by the time he get around to name his WC squad. He will live or die by his own sword…..but I was really hoping for some sensible picks with all the once we know he would pick even if they were in a wheelchair….

    Only time will tell, but for now I mourn the fact that the biggest star in this year Super Rugby by a country mile was not pick in this squad…maybe in a year’s time I will accept that…

  11. Well now, having expected Brits. I must ask, what should the Lions duo of Combrink and Kriel do? Two of the best players in the competition in their world. No, don’t take them to the World Cup if you want but give them a cap. Reward them. See what they have in that dead World XV game.

    Form? Wrong excuse when you have bolters that schooled teams like the Highlanders (Lions) and then we must contend with some dubious selections. #sigh

  12. Janee hier kom ‘n groot ontploffing

    Poof, next coach, maybe HM will become a DoR to oversee structures and talent spotting. I think naas and danie gerber have made themself available – the good news is that they are v well rested and we all know that form is temporary, but class is permanent.

  13. Naas’s rehibilitation in particular is coming along v well. It’s been 33 years since he’s kicked a rugby ball in anger but noone has more experience (vital in world cups), we all know there is noone more accurate or composed as a kicker and under pressure. The junior players look up to him and that means a huge amount – you can’t but that experience. Also he’s a BB so he knows the family and so it’s going to be awesome to see what he can do. He is still the fastest over 2m, when jan els is chasing him.

  14. @Jacques:

    Bunny
    When you put it that way….
    I empathize with what you are saying. It has to be very frustrating. It is probably similar to when I would freak that he would never let Brussouw in – or remember all the round and round with Jake White not believing in fetchers but for beer etc?

    Surely he will have to specifically speak to this given JK’s SR perfoemance.

  15. Holy crap Sas….
    Good catch – didn’t even look for him just assumed!
    Wow.

    So much for S15 form. I think HM – like me thought that this year’s S15 was just going thru the motions.
    Performance art that meant nothing to the true operators…..
    How could you not – if you knew you were destined for Autumn Glory – put your all in with such a huge prize at stake in a completely different tourney?

    Can’t wait for the final next week. Not because I care who wins – only that this kabuki is finally over & now its time to play for ALL the marbles !

  16. But Rudy Paige is in the squad…

    Bizarre…

    At least Faf De Klerk got in…

    But FFS no Kriel and no Combrinck…

    Clearly they gave the wriong blowjobs in the practice camps…

    REALLY not Jaco Kriel but Brussouw is given a conditioning berth… this is ridiculous.

  17. @DavidS:

    Heck yeah. There is nooooooo way HM will put Brussouw in the final squad. That horse was out of the barn ages ago. He’s off to Japan, broke his wrist etc.

    If I was the “Real” Honey Badger I’d tell him I can’t make it – due to having to play golf or something

    So why not pop Kriel in there?

    There has to be more to the story. Hopefully this is just some ruse where HM is cooking an October surprise where in which he has a fetcher at his disposal in the WC.

    Combrick not in is horrible. Ohhhh to have him on the same field as the SunKing! Australia would sure take him.

  18. @Americano:

    A back three of him, Sunking and Habanero would create nightmares for opponents… the kind of thing that would see Fatty Hansen taking special tablets to help him sleep and not awaken with night terrors and stop Stuart Lancaster crying himself to sleep at night and having sleep apnoeia from choking on the snot and tears congealing on his pillow….

    Opposition flyhalves would be forced to play ball in hand all the time so Jaco Kriel would be able to knock them down like ninepins.

  19. @DavidS:

    LOL I agree –
    But am unsure if the degree to which I do is based on the merits of your argument…..
    Or digging the viscerally rich descriptions in your presentation

  20. Hard to admit, but I must agree with all you say.
    Just remember the squad will look much better if
    all the sicknotes are called in.

  21. Will HM get another tenure? Who else, with FOUR franchises desperately looking for coaches?
    Naas will not be lured in, forget it.
    And we need a loosie with the speed and abilities of
    Rob Louw – for those of you who can remember him.
    I’m utterly disturbed at the inclusion of Willem Alberts –
    the slowest of the slows.

  22. Jannie du Plessis ran 24 metres this season, and beat one defender. Who is that defender?
    Can someone please tell me who it was? Did Jannie shake and bake him? Shimmy and step him? Or just blow by him with a hip swivel?

  23. Boertjie iit was probably an injured player lying on the ground waiting for medical staff to get to him and jannie leapt over him…

  24. @BC – Milner-Skudder:

    Ja if that warrants selection then REALLY SMH… that surely is not a justifiable selection. Meyer still believes in the “magic” of the Springbok jersey… that wearing it can somehow mentally transform a player to perform beyond what they had been doing in the season so far…

    But f so why drop Frank Hougaard?

  25. @DavidS: I am still wondering. 7 tries all season. Joint with F. Venter but still the best scoring back in the country. I still smell something though….

  26. CAB – that piece was from a publication down under.
    DAVIDS is probably correct Hougaard paid the price for the Bulls playing him on the wing. How can HM judge his performance at 9?

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