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):
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
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