Springboks name 33-man squad for latest camp in Durban
South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber has confirmed the 33 players for the second Springboks preparation camp in Durban, which will take place this week from Monday to Wednesday.
Following a 15-man camp earlier this month, this latest selection has been bolstered by players who had participated in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship Grand Final in Cape Town on Saturday, alongside numerous players based overseas.
Compared to the initial preparation camp held just over a week ago, the current squad is more than double in size. This increase is attributed to several players finalizing their club commitments in Japan, while various representatives from the DHL Stormers, as well as lock RG Snyman (Munster) and loose forward Duane Vermeulen (Ulster), concluded their Vodacom URC campaigns.
All 33 players have previously been members of the national squad within the last two seasons. Similar to the preceding camp, a limited number of injured players, including Springbok captain and flanker Siya Kolisi, lock Eben Etzebeth, scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse, and prop Thomas du Toit, have been included in the squad. The medical team for the Springboks will continue to closely monitor the progress of these individuals and oversee their rehabilitation.
The invitation extended to the nine of the freshly beaten DHL Stormers players, which includes seasoned props Frans Malherbe and Steven Kitshoff, utility back Damian Willemse, flyhalf Manie Libbok, and utility forward Deon Fourie. Additionally, the group of Japanese players consists of hooker Malcolm Marx, loose forward Kwagga Smith, lock Lood de Jager, utility forward Franco Smith, and centre Damian de Allende.
“We are delighted to have a quality training squad at this camp. The squad size will allow us to have productive on-field training sessions without having to rotate and manage players too much,” said Nienaber.
“We had a strong core of the players at the last preparation camp, and we intend to build on the foundation we laid there when we assemble in Durban, and I believe this will set us in good stead going into the Castle Lager Rugby Championship camp in Pretoria next month.
“This will mark the first time most of the players will be in the national set-up this season, as the alignment camps in Cape Town and Stellenbosch and the last preparation camp in Durban included mainly the locally based players. We did, however, have online alignment sessions with the overseas based players, so we are excited about this opportunity to work with them in person.”
33-man Springbok training squad:
Hookers: Joseph Dweba (DHL Stormers), Malcom Marx (Kubota Spears), Bongi Mbonambi (Cell C Sharks).
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).
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