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Seven omissions from the Springboks' 41-man training squad

By Ian Cameron
Elton Jantjies of the Springboks signs autographs and takes a selfie with the fans after the game during The Rugby Championship match between the Australian Wallabies and the South African Springboks at Adelaide Oval on August 27, 2022 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Professional rugby can be a tough enviroment at times – just ask this lot. We look at seven players that missed out on Jacques Nienaber’s 41-man Springbok training squad ahead of the Rugby Championship.

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Ivan van Zyl
He hasn’t been in the Springbok reckoning for the guts of five years but his form in the Gallagher Premiership suggests might have felt like he had a chance of knocking on the Test once again. The truth is the Springboks have insane depth at scrumhalf, with Faf de Klerk, Jaden Hendrikse, Herschel Jantjies, Cobus Reinach and Grant Williams all making the cut ahead of him.

Elton Jantjies
His own worst enemy, Elton Jantjies has unsurprisingly failed to secure a spot in the coveted 41-man squad. His exclusion suggests that his chances of featuring in the 33-man Rugby World Cup squad are dwindling. With Handre Pollard, Damian Willemse and the in-form Manie Libbok all preferred ahead of him, Jantjies chances of regaining his place at this stage look bleak. His off-field antics and stormy private life certainly haven’t helped, but the brute fact is he’s never convinced Bok management that he has what it takes at Test level.

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Warrick Gelant
The omission of Warrick Gelant from the Springbok training squad is a blow to the talented fullback’s aspirations, but hardly a surprise. Despite being known for his attacking flair and ability to create scoring opportunities, the Racing 92 man’s absence leaves him very much on the fringes of the national team. The truth is Gelant hasn’t been pulling up trees for the Parisian side this season, and he simply hasn’t done enough to warrant being picked ahead of any of the five outside backs that are currently ahead of him.

Elrigh Louw
Elrigh Louw, a promising loose forward, has fallen short in the fierce competition for a place in the Springbok training squad. Despite his potential and versatility, with the Boks’ formidable loose forward lineup comprising of the likes of Pieter-Steph du Toit, Duane Vermeulen, and injury-doubt Siya Kolisi, Louw always faced an uphill battle to break into the squad. However, injuries to players ahead of him may open a door for his inclusion.

Marcell Coetzee
Personal injury and the mixed form of the Bulls have cost Coetzee a chance of making the squad and he looks like a real outside bet to feature for the Springboks ever again. In a national squad brimming with size, power and athleticism, Coetzee may simply be viewed as more of the same, even if he’s still one of the most formidable loose forwards in the game when fit.

Hacjivah Dayimani
Dayimani might be the most hard-done by player on this list, not least given Siya Kolisi looks unlikely to recover in time for France. Known for his explosive speed and agility, Dayimani has failed to secure a place despite standout performances this season for the Stormers in the URC. With the likes of Marco van Staden, Kwagga Smith, and Jasper Wiese making the cut, Dayimani will need to bide his time and wait for an opening.

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Frans Steyn
Frans Steyn – the seasoned veteran who can cover standoff, centre and fullback – finds himself on the outside looking in due to unfortunate circumstances. A knee injury has prevented him from making the training squad. Steyn’s experience and versatility, suggest that if he does recover in time, the Cheetahs veteran has a good chance of being the first off the rank if the Boks suffer injuries in the backline. It’s a big if though.

The exclusion of Jantjies, Gelant, Du Preez, Coetzee, Louw, Dayimani, and the injury-related absence of Frans Steyn from the Springbok training squad indicates that their chances of featuring in the Rugby World Cup squad are now pretty remote. However, in the unpredictable and brutal world of rugby union, injuries can create opportunities, opening the door for these players to potentially make a return.

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).

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

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).

Scrumhalves: Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles), Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks), Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers), Cobus Reinach (Montpellier), Grant Williams (Cell C Sharks).

Flyhalves: Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers), Handre Pollard (Leicester), Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers).

Centres: Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks), Damian de Allende (Wild Knights), Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins), Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles).

Outside Backs: Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulon), Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz), Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks), Canan Moodie (Vodacom Bulls).

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Comments

6 Comments
K
Ken 400 days ago

Faf de Klerk on 'borrowed' time

K
Ken 400 days ago

My favorite Springbok - Peter-Steph (Mr Quiet) - the French centre manipulated a send-off did affected him adversely but am pleased to see hime back - a true sportsman

K
Ken 400 days ago

Nice to see Kolbe back - he can score or create an attack from anywhere

J
Joseph 403 days ago

Elton Jantjies didn't have a chance. Playing 2nd division rugby in France. Too old and never was of test level standard. Warrick Gelant totally outclassed by the world class Damian Willemse. Herschel Jantjies is unlikely to go to the RWC. Elrigh Louw isn't quite there yet. I understand why Duane Vermeulen is in the squad but I can't see him playing in any of the big games.

M
MitchO 403 days ago

Ccellsharks seem to have half the Boks

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Shaylen 5 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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J
Jon 11 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

I think the main problem here is the structure of both countries make up. They are going to have very similar.. obstacles(not problems). It will just be part of the evolution of their rugby and they’ll need to find a way to make this versatility more advantageous than specialization. I think South Africa are well on the way to that end already, but Ireland are more likely to have a hierarchical approach and move players around the provinces. Ioane is going to be more than good enough to lock up one of those available positions for more than a few years I believe though. Morgan would definitely be a more long term outlook. Sacha to me has the natural footwork of a second five. Not everything is about winning, if a team has 3 players that want to play 10s just give them all a good go even if its to the detriment of everyone, this is also about dreams of the players, not just the fans. This is exactly how it would be in an amateur club setting. Ultimately some players just aren’t suited to any one position. The example was of a guy that had size and speed, enough pace to burn, power to drive, and speed to kick and pass long, but just not much else when it came to actual rugby (that matched it). New Zealand has it’s own example with Jordie Barrett and probably shows what Reece Hodge could have been if the game in Australia had any administration. Despite the bigger abundance of talent in NZ, Jordie was provided with consistent time as a fullback, before being ushered in as a second five. Possibly this was due to his blood, and another might not have been as fortunate, but it is what it was, a complete contrast to how Hodge was used in Australia, were he could have had any position he wanted. When it comes down to it though, much like these young fellas, it will be about what they want, and I think you’ll find they’ll be like Hodge and just want to be as valuable to the team as they can and play wherever. It’s not like 63 International Cap is a hard thing to live with as a result of that decision!

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