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Springboks name 26-man squad for Stellenbosch training camp

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Gaspafotos/MB Media/Getty Images)

Jacques Nienaber’s Springboks have named a 26-strong squad for a three-day training camp next weekend at Stellenbosch to begin preparations ahead of their November European tour. The group includes 17 South African-based players and nine who are currently plying their trade in Japan, but there is no recall for Elton Jantjies.

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A statement read: “All 26 players formed part of Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber’s squads that participated in the Castle Lager incoming series against Wales and the Castle Lager Rugby Championship. They will be in the camp until Wednesday, October 26, with a few of the players set to return to their teams for Vodacom United Rugby Championship duty a few days later.

“Canan Moodie, who is nursing a hamstring injury, is among those invited to the camp to allow the Springbok medical team to assess the extent of his injury, especially with the Nienaber and Mzwandile Stick, who will coach the SA A team, under the guidance of SA Rugby’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus, set to announce a group of 54 players for the tour.

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“The Springboks will play four Tests on consecutive Saturdays next month – against Ireland in Dublin on November 5, France in Marseille on November 12, Italy in Genoa on November 19 and England in London on November 26 on the Castle Lager outgoing tour.

“The SA A team, coached by Stick, will play two mid-week matches – against Munster on Thursday,  November 10, and the Bristol Bears a week later on November 17. The Springbok and SA A touring squads will be named on Friday, October 28, with the Bok squad set to gather in Dublin on Sunday, October 30.

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“A further 20 SA A players are set to depart for Ireland a week later on Saturday, November 5, to begin their preparations for the clash against Munster in Cork, where they will be joined by a few players from the initial 34-man touring squad for the two SA A matches. The England and France-based players in the touring squad will be released to their respective clubs following the Italy Test.

Nienaber said about his Springboks squad: “We are departing for the year-end tour next week Saturday, so it is vital that we get the players back into our structures and our usual training programme so that they are raring to go by the time we depart for Ireland.

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“There are some players who didn’t get much game time in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship and who will benefit immensely from the additional game time next week in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, while it is important for the Japanese-based players to get back to national training.

“It may be a short camp, but we have clear objectives, and we know what boxes we need to tick as we look forward to what is going to be a challenging year-end tour. We are facing the No1 and No2 teams in the world in Ireland and France, and then we line up against Italy and England, both of whom will test us to the limit, so the sooner we get into the swing of things, the better.

“I would like to extend a sincere thank you to the Japanese clubs for their cooperation in granting us permission to select the national players plying their trade in Japan for the England Test. We said from the start of the season that we need to use every opportunity to build momentum and squad depth with an eye on the World Cup next year, and that match plays a vital role in this process as England will enter the international spectacle as one of the top teams to watch.”

Springboks Stellenbosch training camp squad:
Props: Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks), Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe (both DHL Stormers), Ox Nche (Cell C Sharks);

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Hookers: Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears), Bongi Mbonambi (Cell C Sharks);

Locks: Lood de Jager (Wild Knights), Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks), Salmaan Moerat (DHL Stormers);

Loose forwards: Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz), Siya Kolisi (Cell C Sharks), Elrigh Louw (Vodacom Bulls), Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs);

Utility forwards: Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers), Franco Mostert (Honda Heat);

Scrum-halves: Faf de Klerk (Yokohama Canon Eagles), Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks);

Fly-half: Johan Goosen (Vodacom Bulls);

Centres: Jesse Kriel (Yokohama Canon Eagles), Damian de Allende (Wild Knights);

Outside backs: Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls), Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz), Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks), Canan Moodie (Vodacom Bulls), Sbu Nkosi (Vodacom Bulls);

Utility back: Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers).

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