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South Africa name all four scrum-halves in their squad to play Romania

By Josh Raisey
South Africa/ PA

South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber has named all four scrum-halves in his squad to play Romania on Sunday in Bordeaux.


Cobus Reinach is set to start in the No9 jersey with Grant Williams wearing No14, while both Jaden Hendrikse and Faf de Klerk will provide support in a 5-3 split on the bench.

Damian Willemse is the only player to retain a starting berth from the world champions’ win against Scotland in the opening match of the World Cup in Marseille. He has shifted from fullback to fly-half though.

Hooker Bongi Nbonambi will captain the side in place of Siya Kolisi, who has dropped out of the matchday squad entirely.

On this unique selection decision, Nienaber said: “People were surprised when we picked four scrumhalves in the squad but we knew they offered us the skills and versatility to provide backline options to manage the challenges that tournament rugby gives you.

“They are all excellent scrumhalves, but Grant and Cobus can play wing and Faf has experience at No 10 – as do Cheslin and Willie. We have the same versatility among our forwards.

“Grant played school rugby on the wing, and he has come on at wing before for us, so we are excited to give him this opportunity to start there and for him to gain international experience in the position.


“Faf is also one of our back up flyhalves in the squad, and the same applies to him, as it will be valuable for him and the team to get some game time in the position.

“We have been rotating and testing players in different positions since last season to put us in the fortunate position to have a group of 33 players in France that are closely matched in terms of their quality of play and skills, and who have been pushing one another for places in the last few months. It has allowed us to select a top-quality team for this match.”

Springbok team to face Romania in Bordeaux:
15 – Willie le Roux (Vodacom Bulls) – 88 caps, 65 pts (13t)
14 – Grant Williams (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 6 caps, 0 points
13 – Canan Moodie (Vodacom Bulls) – 8 caps, 20 pts (4t)
12 – Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins) – 14 caps, 0 pts
11 – Makazole Mapimpi (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 39 caps, 115 pts (23t)
10 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) – 34 caps, 41 pts (3t, 4c, 4pg, 2dg)
9 – Cobus Reinach (Montpellier) – 27 caps, 45 pts (9t)
8 – Duane Vermeulen (SA Rugby) – 71 caps, 15 pts (3t)
7 – Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs) – 34 caps, 30 pts (6t)
6 – Marco van Staden (Vodacom Bulls) – 15 caps, 0 points
5 – Marvin Orie (DHL Stormers) – 14 caps, 0 pts
4 – Jean Kleyn (Munster) – 4 caps, 0 pts (Ireland 5 caps)
3 – Vincent Koch (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 46 caps, 0 pts
2 – Bongi Mbonambi (captain, Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 63 caps, 65 points (13t)
1 – Ox Nche (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 22 caps, 0 points


16 – Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers) – 7 caps, 0 pts
17 – Steven Kitshoff (Ulster) – 77 caps, 10 points (2t)
18 – Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92) – 63 caps, 5 points (1t)
19 – RG Snyman (Munster) – 29 caps, 5 points (1t)
20 – Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers) – 24 caps, 5 points (1t)
21 – Jaden Hendrikse (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 13 caps, 12 pts (2t, 1c)
22 – Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles) – 50 caps, 46 points (5t, 3c, 5pg)
23 – Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles) – 63 caps, 70 points (14t)


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