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Nienaber names 43-man Springboks squad for Test season

By Kim Ekin
Marcell Coetzee in Rugby Championship action for South Africa in 2015 (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber has confirmed his Springboks squad for the Test season ahead, with eigh uncapped player named in the 43-man roster.

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Both Bulls skipper Marcell Coetzee and Stormers standout Evan Roos have made the squad. There’s also room for Harlequins centre Andre Esterhuizen, who has been rewarded for his excellent Gallagher Premiership form.

The squad will contest the Castle Lager Incoming Series against Wales, the Rugby Championship, and the November Test – which will likely include three SA A games.

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Bulls captain Marcell Coetzee speaks about beating Leinster for the first time
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Bulls captain Marcell Coetzee speaks about beating Leinster for the first time

The eight uncapped players include No 8 Evan Roos (DHL Stormers), and flank Elrigh Louw (Vodacom Bulls), locks Ruan Nortje (Vodacom Bulls) and Salmaan Moerat (DHL Stormers), utility forward Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers), fullback Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls), scrumhalf Grant Williams, and prop Ntuthuko Mchunu (both Cell C Sharks).

A squad of 17 players gathered in Pretoria for the opening week of the team’s preparation camp last week, featuring a number of cell C Sharks and Japanese-based players.

With the Vodacom Bulls and DHL Stormers advancing to the final of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship next week, Nienaber will have to do without the bulk of his players for the next eight days.

Johan Goosen (flyhalf) – who joined Cobus Reinach in the opening week – will also remain with the squad until of the conclusion of the camp to continue his rehabilitation, with Reinach set to remain with the group.

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“Building squad depth is one of the key areas for us, and it is great to see the number of young players who have put up their hands this season, and we are delighted to invite them to the national squad environment,” said Nienaber.

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“It is also good to welcome back some of the experienced players who have been part of our structures for a few years now, and I’m confident they will slot back into set-up with ease.

“We obviously have to wait a little longer for some players to be released from their club commitments, but we are pleased to be able to announce the squad with exactly three weeks to go before our opening Test against Wales.”

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“We now have a bigger training squad, which will allow us to do a lot more at our training sessions, but most importantly it will give us more time to work with these players as we prepare for a challenging international season.”

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The Boks will begin their 2022 season with three Castle Lager Incoming Series Tests against Wales on July 2, 9, and 16, before moving on to the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, where they will face the All Blacks in back-to-back home Tests, followed by a visit to Australia and Argentina. They’ll return home in September for their last Test against the Pumas in Durban.

Springboks squad for international season:

Props:
Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks)
Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers)
Vincent Koch (Saracens)
Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers)
Ntuthuko Mchunu (Cell C Sharks)
Ox Nche (Cell C Sharks)
Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92)

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

Locks:
Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks)
Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks)
Salmaan Moerat (DHL Stormers)
Ruan Nortje (Vodacom Bulls)
Marvin Orie (DHL Stormers)

Loose forwards:
Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz)
Marcell Coetzee (Vodacom Bulls)
Siya Kolisi (Cell C Sharks)
Elrigh Louw (Vodacom Bulls)
Evan Roos (DHL Stormers)
Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Júbilo)
Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers)

Utility forwards:
Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse)
Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers)
Franco Mostert (Honda Heat)

Scrumhalves:
Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks)
Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks)
Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers)
Grant Williams (Cell C Sharks)

Flyhalves:
Johan Goosen IVodacom Bulls)
Elton Jantjies (NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes)
Handre Pollard (Montpellier Herrault),

Midfielders:
Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks)
Damian de Allende (Munster)
Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins)
Jesse Kriel (Cannon Eagles)

Outside Backs:
Aphelele Fassi (Cell C Sharks)
Warrick Gelant (DHL Stormers)
Cheslin Kolbe (Toulon)
Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz)
Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks)

Utility Backs:
Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls)
Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers)

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