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Springboks add six as Koch and co return to French, English clubs

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Jacques Nienaber has confirmed that six players have been called up to his South Africa squad ahead as next Saturday’s clash with England falls out of the international Test window governing player release. The French-based quartet of Vincent Koch, Trevor Nyakane, Cobus Reinach and Cheslin Kolbe along with the English-based pair Jasper Wiese and Andre Esterhuizen have all returned to their clubs following Saturday’s Springboks win over Italy.


In their place, the Springboks have brought in five players who were part of the South Africa A team that lost recent matches at Munster and Bristol and another, Canan Moodie, who has recovered from injury.

A statement read: “Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber called up six players to his squad for Saturday’s final tour Test against England, as a few players left camp to join up with their French and UK clubs following the match against Italy in Genoa.

“South Africa A team captain Thomas du Toit, Ntuthuko Mchunu (both props), Marco van Staden (flanker), Johan Goosen (fly-half) and Grant Williams (scrum-half) will all join the Springboks, while Vodacom Bulls wing Canan Moodie has recovered from the hamstring injury that ruled him out of the tour and will also join up with the team in London.

“Vincent Koch, Trevor Nyakane, Jasper Wiese, Cobus Reinach, Cheslin Kolbe and Andre Esterhuizen have all returned to their clubs as Saturday’s Springboks clash falls out of the international Test window.”


Nienaber explained: “The players who will join us from the SA A team all put up their hands in the midweek games and we are delighted to have them in the mix this week, while Canan has shown what he can do at Test level and I am sure he will be delighted to be back in the squad. Some of the players were with us on tour until after the Ireland Test and it was always the plan to recall them at the conclusion of the SA A matches.


“As we said from the outset we wanted as many players as possible to get game time on this tour as we look ahead to the Rugby World Cup next year and we believe the players and the team will benefit from this in the next few months.”

Regarding the prospect of facing England, Nienaber added: “We know it is going to be a tough challenge and as coaches, we have already started turning our attention to that match. There are a lot of positives we can take from the Tests against Italy, France and Ireland, but England will pose a completely different challenge and we need to be ready for that.

“We really want to build momentum and finish the tour on a positive note, so we will work as hard as we can this week to achieve that.”


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