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'Rassie' and the 16 players left at home as Boks head to Buenos Aires

By Ian Cameron
Willie le Roux of South Africa runs with the ball during the Autumn International match between England and South Africa at Twickenham Stadium on November 26, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has confirmed a 26-player squad for their opening Rugby World Cup warm-up game in Buenos Aires, with some players boarding the plane early on Sunday morning.

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Nienaber aims to provide ample game time to as many players as possible to finalize the best group of 33 for the tournament, adhering to their plan of spreading the workload among the squad.

“We are naming the Rugby World Cup squad in a little over a week and it is important that we have a coach that can work on rugby detail with the players remaining in South Africa and who can keep a close eye on the progress the injured players are making,” said Nienaber. “Hence, we decided it would be best for Rassie to work with them.

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“Obviously he’ll still assist the team abroad virtually, and vice-versa to ensure that the players here have all the necessary game and conditioning detail they need to tick the boxes we’d like to do with them before we travel to Cardiff for our next warm-up game.”

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The traveling contingent includes players involved in the team’s 22-21 victory against the Pumas: Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Trevor Nyakane (all props), Bongi Mbonambi (hooker), Marvin Orie (lock), Manie Libbok (flyhalf), Kurt-Lee Arendse (wing), Jesse Kriel, Lukhanyo Am (both centres) and Damian Willemse (utility back).

Springbok squad to travel to Argentina:

Props: Thomas du Toit, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Gerhard Steenekamp, Trevor Nyakane.

Hookers: Bongi Mbonambi, Joseph Dweba.

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Locks: Lood de Jager, Jean Kleyn, Marvin Orie.

Loose forwards: Jean-Luc du Preez, Evan Roos, Jasper Wiese.

Utility forwards: Deon Fourie, Franco Mostert.

Scrumhalves: Jaden Hendrikse, Herschel Jantjies, Cobus Reinach.

Flyhalf: Manie Libbok.

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Centres: Lukhanyo Am, Andre Esterhuizen, Jesse Kriel.

Outside Backs: Makazole Mapimpi, Canan Moodie, Kurt-Lee Arendse.

Utility back: Damian Willemse.

Players remaining in South Africa:

Forwards: Pieter-Steph du Toit (loose forward), Eben Etzebeth (lock), Siya Kolisi (flank), Frans Malherbe (prop), Malcolm Marx (hooker), Ox Nche (prop), Kwagga Smith (loose forward), RG Snyman (lock), Marco van Staden (flank), Duane Vermeulen (No 8).

Backs: Damian de Allende (centre), Faf de Klerk (scrumhalf), Cheslin Kolbe (wing), Willie le Roux (fullback), Handre Pollard (flyhalf), Grant Williams (scrumhalf).

The Springboks will face Wales in Cardiff (Saturday, 19 August) and New Zealand at Twickenham (Friday, 25 August) in their final warm-up matches before travelling to Corsica for a one-week training camp en route to France for the Rugby World Cup.  

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1 Comment
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Bob Marler 360 days ago

I thought Libbok looked good. I thought defense was well organized. Some positives out of the game. Clearly, Rassie and Jacques are enjoying experimenting.

Looking forward to that Wales game. When we start seeing their ideas for the team against Scotland.

Argentina looked like Tonga practice.

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