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Springbok training camp gets underway

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Erasmus names 26-strong squad to begin South Africa's Rugby Championship preparations

Rassie Erasmus has commenced South Africa’s countdown to the World Cup later this year in Japan by gathering a group of 26 players together in Pretoria. 

The Springboks’ Test calendar gets underway on July 20 with a home fixture against Australia in the Rugby Championship and Erasmus has used the elimination of the remaining South African teams from the Super Rugby knockout stages to random up preparations.      

The group of 26, who will be involved in what is described as a national alignment and conditioning camp, will be completed on Monday when players from the Bulls and the Sharks, the two South African quarter-final teams who were beaten on Saturday in their Super Rugby play-offs, join in.

The Springboks kick off their shortened Championship campaign in four weeks’ time against the Wallabies in Johannesburg, a match will be followed a week later by the keenly awaited showdown with New Zealand in Wellington, the scene of last year’s epic away win over against the All Blacks.

The Boks conclude their official campaign against Argentina two weeks later, on August 10 in Salta, while the same two teams are set to meet again a week later in Pretoria in a once-off Test before the Boks report for Rugby World Cup training duty.

The following players are attending the Springbok alignment and conditioning camp from Sunday in Pretoria:

Forwards (16): Schalk Brits (Bulls), Marcell Coetzee (Ulster), Lood de Jager (Bulls), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), Rynardt Elstadt (Toulouse), Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), Vincent Koch (Saracens), Siya Kolisi (Stormers), Frans Malherbe (Stormers), Malcolm Marx (Lions), Bongi Mbonambi (Stormers), Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Franco Mostert (Gloucester), Marvin Orie (Lions), Kwagga Smith (Lions);

Backs (10): Damian de Allende (Stormers), Faf de Klerk (Sale), Aphiwe Dyantyi (Lions), Elton Jantjies (Lions), Herschel Jantjies (Stormers), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse), Dillyn Lleyds (Stormers), Willie le Roux (Verblitz), Cobus Reinach (Northampton), Frans Steyn (Montpellier).

WATCH: Part one of the two-part RugbyPass documentary on what fans can expect in Japan at this year’s World Cup

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Erasmus names 26-strong squad to begin South Africa's Rugby Championship preparations