Home RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP 2018 Preliminary Springbok squad to gather in PE

Preliminary Springbok squad to gather in PE

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Seventeen players will get together in Port Elizabeth on Friday when they will start their preparations for the final two Tests in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, next Saturday, 29 September against Australia in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, and a week later against New Zealand at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby, confirmed that the squad will be further bolstered on Saturday when a number of other players have concluded their provincial duty in the Currie Cup.

“We are still keeping an eye on a number of players who we would like to involve in the coming weeks, but we would first like to see them get through their provincial matches this weekend,” said Erasmus.

It was also confirmed that Damian De Allende (centre), Lukhanyo Am (centre) and Makazole Mapimpi (wing) will not feature in the two home Tests after they were ruled out due to injury.

Furthermore, Willie le Roux (fullback) and Francois Louw (loose forward) have returned to their English clubs after the pair featured in the Springboks’ four tournament matches to date. They will not feature in the two home Tests.

“The players had a brief break after returning from New Zealand and I’m sure they will return fresh and energised for the last two matches,” said Erasmus.

“While we lost a couple of players to injury, but we are looking forward to possibly welcome back some others who have been playing for their provinces and recovered from injury. The two home matches will give us more time to work together as a group, to build on continuity and increase our depth.”

Meanwhile, only about 4 000 tickets are still available for the Port Elizabeth Test, while the South Africa versus New Zealand fixture will be played in front of a capacity crowd at Loftus Versfeld. Tickets to the PE Test are available through Computicket and any Money Market outlets.

The preliminary Springbok squad for the Castle Lager Rugby Championship home leg against the Wallabies and All Blacks (in alphabetical order – name and surname, position, franchise/club, Test caps and points):

Forwards (10):
Pieter-Steph du Toit (loose forward/lock, DHL Western Province), 40, 20 – 4t
Eben Etzebeth (Lock, DHL Western Province), 71, 15 – 3t
Steven Kitshoff (Prop, DHL Western Province), 31, 5 – 1t
Siya Kolisi (captain, Flanker, DHL Western Province), 35, 25 – 5t
Frans Malherbe Prop (Prop, DHL Western Province), 23, 0
Malcolm Marx ( Hooker, Xerox Golden Lions), 18, 20 – 4t
Franco Mostert (Lock, Gloucester, England), 24, 5 – 1t
Tendai Mtawarira (Prop, Cell C Sharks), 105, 10 – 2t
RG Snyman (Lock, Vodacom Blue Bulls), 6, 0
Warren Whiteley (No 8, Xerox Golden Lions), 21, 15 – 3t

Backs (7):
Faf de Klerk (Scrumhalf, Sale Sharks, England), 18, 10 – 2t
Aphiwe Dyantyi (Wing, Xerox Golden Lions, 7, 25 – 5t
André Esterhuizen (Centre, Cell C Sharks), 4, 0
Elton Jantjies (Flyhalf, Xerox Golden Lions), 28, 223 – 2t, 42c, 43p
Cheslin Kolbe (Utility back, Toulouse, France), 2, 5 – 1t
Jesse Kriel (Centre, Vodacom Blue Bulls), 34, 45 – 9t
Handré Pollard (Flyhalf, Vodacom Blue Bulls), 33, 265 – 3t, 50c, 47p, 3d

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Dunno what the fuss about Esterhuizen is. The first overseas player I would’ve pulled in was Serfontein. Then Goosen, Thor, WLR, faf and Bismarck.

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  2. If De Allende is out, erasmus got to pick a center who will make things happen, Serfontein and RjvR. We not going to win with Esterhuizen and Am in midfield.

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  3. @cab: @cab:

    Hahaha… ‘a centre that is going to make things happen’ and DDA in the same sentence. The guy is doltishly average from second 5/8th and with 30 plus test caps to boot. The only reason I can think that he even has that many caps is the current dearth of centres in ZAF and the fact that the pencil-test muppets don’t know the difference between Lisbon and Khayelitsha.

    Gift Esterhuisen half those tests and see the difference, particularly considering he can cover 10, 12, 13, 15 and is another goal-kicking option.

    Until you see Serfontein back for Montpellier (where he plays 13 next to Steyn) no point harping on mate… he is injured.

    Goosen… yes indeed… he has everything Kolbe has plus the boot, defence, high-ball and goal-kicking plus caps and current form… so I agree.

    Bismarck wants no part of the Boks, WLR is out for the rest of the season down to piss-weak negotiators and you can add Thor to that.

    Am should be nowhere near a test side… I’d rather have an aging Mapoe there outside of the form 12 in the land yet again Vorster (and RJVR who too has given up on selection)…

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  4. @bryce_in_oz: Bryce, it is not negotiations, clubs can not refuse….SARU has first pick if they want, as Rassie said he wants to give other players a change as well and the two home test is perfect for that.

    He said from the start he will not use some of the overseas players with the last two home games.

    Why would we want Bismarck if we have Marx, Bongi?

    Goosen have not played in two years and we have better than him at home.

    How many times do we need to point out that Thor agreement with Japan club was done in December when Rassie was not the coach..He will be with Boks from EOY tour till WC. Again if SARU wanted to pull him they can that is the World Rugby LAW.

    Again I say I am happy with what Rassie do and the players we have, I may be alone on this site with that outlook but we will see how this team gets better and better to be a contender when the WC starts next year, my view

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  5. @Jacques:

    ‘it is not negotiations, clubs can not refuse…’ Exactly… poor negotiating… screw the clubs when it comes to home tests against the Wallabies and NZ.

    ‘said he wants to give other players a change as well’ he’s been chopping-and-changing the entire season… again, injuries aside… the home tests against Aus and NZ are there for your ‘best’ side.

    ‘Why would we want Bismarck’… I was answering Cabbo, Akker would have been given more game time and at the very least the third spot in the touring squad.

    ‘Goosen have not played in two years and we have better than him at home.’

    Like who? Coetzee is the only form 15 this Super season and he won’t be chosen.

    Goosen is capped, already showing form, brings exactly what is needed to back up the back three which Kolbe doesn’t.

    ‘gets better and better to be a contender when the WC starts next year, my view’

    So you only really care about the RWC… not winning TRC particularly in light of the recent upset?

    Whilst the biggest upset in three years is awesome in many ways, other than huge ‘gees’, slightly improved offensive-defence and better feeding off scraps I’m yet to see any vast improvement nor continuity.

    Of course I would like to see it… but you still going to be saying the same if they’re whooped by NZ and struggle against this ‘down-in-the-dumps’ Wallaby side come end of comp?

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  6. @bryce_in_oz: YIP looking at WC to be at-least nr2 in the world and be a contender.

    The rest is a buildup and I trust for one in Rassie process. I know you do not and either I will say next year I told you so or you will say it to me.

    For the first time in years I can see progress in the way we do things and teh way players are improving.

    I do nit expect them to suddenly be world beaters but we have beaten World nr 1 away from home, beaten World nr 4 at home in series, we have lost against Pumas away and Aussie away, true and the next few months will either proof I am right that Rassie is onthe right track or that I am a fool.

    We will play Aus and NZ at home and England, France, Scotland and Wales away in Nov.

    I do not call a win in NZ……. gees, I call it a well worked out win by Rassie his staff and players. You can keep your Bismarck, Goosen and Serfontein. If they do not want to put their country before club and money so be it we have the players although you try hard to say otherwise.

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  7. Jacques makes a v good point – Bongi is excellent. I was thinking Bismarck would add depth but if he wants no part of it, he can get lost, SA be 100% without him. No one is remotely close to being bigger than the Bok. Only reason i like Thor, faf, WLR is when they play hard – as soon as they think they saviours – chop them from the span to instantly. We got players to replace them easy Peary – you wanna play For the Boks, it’s an honour, if not get lost.

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  8. @cab:

    ”We’ve got the players to replace them easy peasy’

    ROTFLMAO really?

    Perhaps Vermeulen when Whiteley isn’t carrying his loose-forwards and firing like last week… but there is nobody in RSA fit to play even 15 minutes off the bench yet as it has been obvious with Erasmus’s use of his alternates (or lack there of).

    As for Bongi… well according to Rassie he’s not even fit enough to start for 40minutes. Akker VDM would have no such problem… yet he’s now playing CC rugby behind the eternally average Ralepelle.

    @Jacques:

    Ending the year with anything less than a 60% win rate is an abject failure for mine… I care not how much talk of ‘building’ for a RWC there is.

    If you’re winning your games you are building momentum… simple.

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  9. @bryce_in_oz:

    The ’15 minutes’ I refer to above is at half-back… where Erasmus had for obvious reasons dropped Van Zyl (with no game-time) for Papier (who got no game time), then predictably dropped him for the steady yet unspectacular Cronje for the most important games (yet no game-time)… and expect the same against the Wallabies (unless they have a lead of note).

    For all the spin I keep hearing for the old ‘building for a RWC so bare with me bollocks)… there is no denying he’s done jack at half-back and has been extremely lucky the Sale Sharks are push-overs and have allowed him to stay the entire test season… unlike Willie Le Roux.

    Personally I’d never have dropped Wright or Schreuder and would have my eyes firmly on how Reinach is coming along OS. As it stands Ruan Pienaar even almost past his twilight years is still the form South African 9 around.

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  10. ‘I do not call a win in NZ……. gees, I call it a well worked out win by Rassie his staff and players.’

    Yeah I’m pretty sure it was part of the game-plan, to make an unprecedented 253 tackles, miss a whopping 39 of them, gift the opposition 75% possession and 78% territory and get spanked in pretty much every other department including LO’s and mauls.

    The win was huge for them mate, it will go down in the history books, but without ‘green tinted glasses, I saw the game exactly the way Ben Smith in his two analytical articles did.

    Namely a team finally looking ‘geesed up’ and putting their bodies on the line for each other. With finally an improved offensive-defence (that every test team should have in this era), still with a few glaring deficiencies from the same players, but also positively others showing their experience for a change and great adjusting on the move and more clinical feeding off scraps.

    ‘You can keep your Bismarck, Goosen and Serfontein. If they do not want to put their country before club and money so be it we have the players although you try hard to say otherwise.’

    Oh now you’re just being a bit too emotional mate. I’ve already said the Bismark comment was in reference to Cabbo’s selections, whilst I would have had him in the squad the past two years where AC chose not to, that time has probably past and Akker and Bongi in that order I have no problem with. Pulling a 37yr old Brits out of retirement is another story already discussed ad nauseam. Goosen has not been mentioned nor selected, arguably with so few games back I could perhaps understand that… and Serfontein, again in reference to Cabbo is ‘injured’.

    ‘If they do not want to put their country before club and money so be it we have the players although you try hard to say otherwise.’

    You must mean like Vermeulen’s dictations you have been so quick to defend.

    But now we (well me lol) are going in circles… I’ll leave it here with my last comment to you above.

    ”Ending the year with anything less than a 60% win rate is an abject failure for mine… I care not how much talk of ‘building’ for a RWC there is.

    If you’re winning your games you are building momentum… simple.”

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  11. @bryce_in_oz:
    ”Ending the year with anything less than a 60% win rate is an abject failure for mine… I care not how much talk of ‘building’ for a RWC there is.”

    Before the TRC i said and stick by it that Rassie will do well to be at 50% by the end of the year especially if you look at the opposition this year.
    NZ was a surprise but we must beat Aus at home and NZ at home will be tough. Then 4 away in EU where I think we should be winning 3 but Eng and Wales is going to be tough. It all comes down to that last game against Wales – that will be bitterly disappointing if we lose that. France could be an upset… I will have a few $ on the French and we know what Scotland can produce on the day – they should have beaten the AB’s last time out…

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  12. @JT: although I agree. I said the same just the other day on here. 50% will be really good given where we are in standing. Most teams we face were ranked above us just last week.

    But then after Saturday, we need to find a way to be that ferocious again. It will be difficult but I just can’t see us losing if we can emulate that performance. Realistically 50% would still be a success. But if Saturday is to be proven to be anything other than a gees win, we must expect the Boks to win most of the remaining games. Otherwise it will remain just that, a gees win. The thing with a win like that, it raises expectations. Rassie will quickly find out just how unforgiving the SA rugby public can be if we don’t beat the Aussies and are not at least very competitive at Loftus.

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  13. @JT:

    It would be great if they were playing IRE…because they’re more than likely going to be meeting them in the 1/4’s. Scotland is a non-negotiable, momentum-wise Wales too down to the abysmal record of late…

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  14. The last of the Messerschmitt-Willie Deniers are gonna be flushed out of the bush by these upcoming home tests.
    SA offense is gonna seize up like an oil-less motor without the Sunking driving.
    So Rassie better go ” all in ” on Jake White’s old playbook to keep it within 20 of the ABs.
    Just desserts for all who ever mocked the ” Prince of Wasps” .

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