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Ireland lock Kleyn to switch allegience to Springboks

By Ian Cameron
FUKUOKA, JAPAN - OCTOBER 12: (L-R) Tadhg Furlong, James Ryan and Jean Kleyn of Ireland sing the national anthem prior to the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group A game between Ireland and Samoa at Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium on October 12, 2019 in Fukuoka, Japan. (Photo by David Ramos - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber has named a 40-man South Africa training squad ahead of the truncated Rugby Championship.


The biggest intrigue however is news that Ireland lock Jean Kleyn is set to switch allegience to the Springboks, the nation of his birth, pending permission.

“Furthermore, Jean Kleyn – who played five Tests for Ireland after qualifying on residency grounds in September 2019, which included participating in the 2019 Rugby World Cup – will join the squad as a 41st member pending the outcome of an application filed by SA Rugby regarding the former DHL Stormers lock’s eligibility in terms of Regulation 8 and based on birth right. The decision is expected to be received soon.”

Overseas players Cheslin Kolbe, Andre Esterhuizen, Handre Pollard, Jasper Wiese, Jean-Luc du Preez, Vincent Koch and Trevor Nyakane are all been added to the mix.

““It is great that we have been able to invite this group of players to the camp and we are excited to get back onto the field and to switch into international mode completely,” said Nienaber.

“We hosted a string of alignment and preparation camps between February and last week, but this time we have the luxury of working with the domestic and overseas-based players and to spend time together as a wider squad daily.

“This will raise the quality of our training sessions as we will again be able to field full teams against one another, while also having a look at a big group of players as we prepare for a challenging Castle Lager Rugby Championship campaign and 2023 season.


“Our medical team will also have more time to work directly with the players nursing injuries and to monitor their progress and rehabilitation as the Test matches draw nearer.”

Nienaber emphasized the importance of the team spending a three-week period together before their Castle Lager Rugby Championship opener against Australia. This allowed the squad to fulfill mental and physical requirements ahead of the international season. The Boks’ 2023 season starts on July 8, with a match against the Wallabies in Pretoria. They will then face New Zealand in Auckland on July 15, before returning to Johannesburg for their final match against Argentina on July 29.

Springbok Castle Lager Rugby Championship Training Squad:

Props: Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks), Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers), Vincent Koch (Stade Francais), Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers), Ox Nche (Cell C Sharks), Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92).

Hookers: Joseph Dweba (DHL Stormers), Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears), Bongi Mbonambi (Cell C Sharks).


Locks: Lood de Jager (Wild Knights), Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks), Marvin Orie (DHL Stormers), RG Snyman (Munster).

Loose Forwards: Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz), Siya Kolisi (Cell C Sharks), Evan Roos (DHL Stormers), Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs), Marco van Staden (Vodacom Bulls), Duane Vermeulen (Ulster), Jasper Wiese (Leicester).

Utility Forwards: Jean-Luc du Preez (Sale Sharks), Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers), Franco Mostert (Honda Heat).


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