Springboks reveal their 46-man squad for the British & Irish Lions series
The squad includes a host of European-based players and a handful of uncapped players. There will also be a return for 2009 hero Morne Steyn, who has made the squad at the age of 36 on the back of some excellent form for the Bulls.
The entire 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning squad, except for the retired trio of Tendai Mtawarira, Francois Louw and Schalk Brits, and the injured Warrick Gelant, were named in Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber’s squad.
The eight uncapped players are Joseph Dweba (hooker), Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg (lock), Jasper Wiese (loose forward), Sanele Nohamba (scrumhalf), Wandisile Simelane (centre), Yaw Penxe, Rosko Specman (both wings) and Aphelele Fassi (fullback).
The is also a place for Leicester Tigers back row Jasper Wiese, who has been running riot in the Gallagher Premiership this season. There is no room for former Ulster looseforward Marcell Coetzee, maybe the biggest surprise given the size of the squad.
SA Rugby Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, said: “We have been keeping a close eye on the players’ performances since professional rugby resumed late last season and we followed that up with a series of alignment camps and franchise visits,” said Erasmus. “We have put together a very talented group of players, and we believe the vast experience in the group will complement the exciting bunch of youngsters.
“Several players have been plying their trade abroad, and that has enabled them to rack up quality game time in top-class competitions against world-class opposition, many of whom were included in the Lions squad, while the locally-based players have also been able to build up quality game time over a number of competitions.”
Nienaber, who will make his first appearance as Springbok head coach when the team take the field, said: “It is a surreal feeling to name a Springbok squad after such a long absence from international rugby, and the fact that these players will have a chance to measure themselves in such a special tour makes it even more remarkable,” said Nienaber.
“Players such as Frans and Morné have been here before and they can attest to the huge privilege it is to be part of a British & Irish Lions tour, so I am very excited for this squad.
“The squad feature a bunch of Rugby World Cup-winners who know what it takes to perform and be successful at the highest level, as well as a handful of very talented young players who all proved that they deserve an opportunity at this level.”
“A huge challenge lies ahead, and the fact that we will be taking on this task after a 20-month absence from international rugby means we need to hit the ground running.
Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks, 12 caps, 0 pts)
Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers, 47 caps, 5 pts)
Vincent Koch (Saracens, 21 caps, 0 pts)
Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers, 38 caps, 5 pts)
Ox Nché (Cell C Sharks, 1 cap, 0 pts)
Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls, 42 caps, 5 pts)
Coenie Oosthuizen (Sale Sharks, 30 caps, 20 pts)
Joseph Dweba (Bordeaux-Bègles, uncapped)
Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears, 33 caps, 25 pts)
Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers, 36 caps, 35 pts)
Scarra Ntubeni (DHL Stormers, 1 cap, 0 pts)
Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks, 45 caps, 25 pts)
Eben Etzebeth (Toulon, 85 caps, 15 pts)
Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg (Montpellier, uncapped)
Franco Mostert (Honda Heat, 39 caps, 5 pts)
Marvin Orie (DHL Stormers, 3 caps, 0 pts)
RG Snyman (Munster, 23 caps, 5 pts)
Dan du Preez (Sale Sharks, 4 caps, 0 pts)
Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers, 55 caps, 25 pts)
Siya Kolisi (Cell C Sharks, 50 caps, 30 pts)
Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Júbilo, 6 caps, 0 pts)
Marco van Staden (Vodacom Bulls, 3 caps, 0 pts)
Duane Vermeulen (Vodacom Bulls, 54 caps, 15 pts)
Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers, uncapped)
Jean-Luc du Preez (Sale Sharks, 13 caps, 10 pts)
Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse, 2 caps, 0 pts)
Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, 30 caps, 20 pts)
Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers, 10 caps, 20 pts)
Sanele Nohamba (Cell C Sharks, uncapped)
Cobus Reinach (Montpellier, 14 caps, 30 pts)
Elton Jantjies (Pau, 37 caps, 281 pts)
Handré Pollard (Montpellier, 48 caps 457 pts)
Morné Steyn (Vodacom Bulls, 66 caps, 736 pts)
Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks, 15 caps, 15 pts)
Damian de Allende (Munster, 47 caps, 30 pts)
Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles, 46 caps, 60 pts)
Wandisile Simelane (Emirates Lions, uncapped)
Frans Steyn (Toyota Cheetahs, 67 caps, 141 pts)
Aphelele Fassi (Cell C Sharks, uncapped)
Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse, 14 caps, 40 pts)
Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz, 61 caps, 60 pts)
Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks, 14 caps, 70 pts)
Sbu Nkosi (Cell C Sharks, 11 caps, 40 pts)
Yaw Penxe (Cell C Sharks, uncapped)
Rosko Specman (Toyota Cheetahs, uncapped)
Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers, 6 caps, 5 pts)
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