Home SANZAAR RUGBY NEWS Kolisi and Am named captains for Green and Gold teams

Kolisi and Am named captains for Green and Gold teams

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It may be a case of the current Springbok Captain and future Springbok Captain leading the Green and Gold sides onto the field on Saturday.

World Cup winning captain Siya Kolisi will lead the Green team and Lukhanyo Am will take the leadership role as captain for the Gold team.

The Green team is coached by Mzwandile Stick, with SA Rugby Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus serving as the team commissioner, while Deon Davids is the Gold team coach and Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber the team commissioner.

The experienced Springbok duo will lead two teams featuring the best of the best in South Africa; Rugby World Cup winners, seasoned internationals and rising stars determined to showcase their skills with an eye on making a step up to national level.

Stick was forced to make three changes to his match-day squad for the clash after Oupa Mohoje (utility forward) tested positive for COVID-19, although he is asymptomatic, and as a precautionary measure Trevor Nyakane (prop) was withdrawn from the squad after being in close contact with his former Toyota Cheetahs team-mate.

Furthermore, former Junior Springbok utility back Mnombo Zwelendaba was ruled out due to a hip injury.

As a result, three young guns have been called into the Springbok Gold team – Kwenzo Blose (prop), Kade Wolhuter (flyhalf) and JJ van der Mescht (lock). All three players have been named on the bench.

Stick was excited about his team, despite the enforced changes: “We have a good balance in our team if you look at the mix between the youngsters and senior players,” he said.

“We have the likes of Siya Kolisi, Duane (Vermeulen), Elton (Jantjies) and Frans (Steyn) that were with us at the Rugby World Cup in Japan, while we worked with some of the youngsters at a junior level, and it is great to give them a taste of a Test week.”

Davids was equally pleased with his team’s preparations: “The week has gone very well so far, with good enthusiasm at training and a great eagerness to learn and to absorb what is happening in this special environment,” he said.

“We will see a fascinating battle between two interesting and exciting team combinations, each one consisting of experienced RWC winning Springboks, established franchise players, some Blitzboks and some really good youngsters coming through the ranks.”

Stick, who admitted it was great to see the domestic players back in action after the country was forced into lockdown six months ago, expected an entertaining clash and said they were excited to see what the players would dish up on Saturday.

“We would like to give the players the freedom to express themselves, and to showcase their talent and bring that X-factor,” said Stick.

“If you look at the likes of Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe, they use their chances one-on-one, and we would like to give these young players the opportunity to do that. With the experienced players around them, I think it will be a good match.

“The game might open up in the later stages, but we are going to respect this match. The Gold team also has quality players, so we will try to play a well-balanced game, and if it opens up, we will look to take our opportunities.”

Davids said with the DHL Stormers relocating to the Cape Town Stadium next year, it would be a special occasion for the Cape-based players in both squads.

“We have a number of DHL Stormers players in our ranks for whom this match will be a very special occasion, playing on the beautiful field of the famous DHL Newlands stadium,” said Davids.

Am, meanwhile, kicked off the banter between the teams in the build-up to the match saying: “I’m not letting any secrets out the bag, but we have surprises in store for the Green squad.”

The teams are:

Springbok Green:

15 – Gianni Lombard

14 – Yaw Penxe

13 – Wandisile Simelane

12 – Frans Steyn

11 – Malcolm Jaer

10 – Elton Jantjies

9 – Sanele Nohamba

8 – Duane Vermeulen

7 – Arno Botha

6 – Siya Kolisi (captain)

5 – Hyron Andrews

4 – JD Schickerling

3 – Luan de Bruin

2 – Bongi Mbonambi

1 – Ox Nche

Replacements:

16 – Schalk Erasmus

17 – Kwenzo Blose

18 – Thomas du Toit

19 – JJ van der Mescht

20 – Juarno Augustus

21 – Junior Pokomela

22 – Embrose Papier

23 – Manie Libbok

24 – Jeremy Ward

25 – Kade Wolhuter

Springbok Gold:

15 – Warrick Gelant

14 – Rosko Specman

13 – Lukhanyo Am (captain)

12 – Rikus Pretorius

11 – Courtnall Skosan

10 – Damian Willemse

9 – Herschel Jantjies

8 – Sikhumbuzo Notshe

7 – Nizaam Carr

6 – Marco van Staden

5 – Marvin Orie

4 – Salmaan Moerat

3 – Ruan Dreyer

2 – Scarra Ntubeni

1 – Steven Kitshoff

Replacements:

16 – Dylan Richardson

17 – Dylan Smith

18 – Carlü Sadie

19 – Jason Jenkins

20 – James Venter

21 – Vincent Tshituka

22 – Ivan van Zyl

23 – Curwin Bosch

24 – Werner Kok

25 – Manuel Rass

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