New faces in Bok squad

Uncapped Roelof Smit, Jean-Luc du Preez, Sergeal Petersen and Francois Venter have been included in the Springboks' squad for their end-of-year tour.

The Bok squad also includes Ruan Combrinck, who has recovered from the leg injury that ruled him out for most of the Rugby Championship, as well as JP Pietersen and Jannie du Plessis, both of whom were not involved in the most recent campaign.

In a separate squad for the Boks' opening encounter against the Barbarians on 5 November, 12 uncapped players were seleted: Lizo Gqoboka, Thomas du Toit, RG Snyman, Smit, Du Preez, Uzair Cassiem, Tian Schoeman, Venter, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Petersen, Jamba Ulengo and Cheslin Kolbe.

However, only Smit, Du Preez, Petersen and Venter will remain with the squad for the remainder of the outgoing tour.

The Boks have been dealt a number of injury blows with experienced players Francois Hougaard, Juan de Jongh, Francois Louw and Julian Redelinghuys ruled out, all of whom featured during the Rugby Championship.

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee also explained that after discussions with Duane Vermeulen, it was decided that his conditioning is not up to international standard since his recent return from injury. He will also return to South Africa in November to be with his wife when the couple’s second child is born.

Coetzee said he was looking forward to working with the group of young players in the buildup to the Barbarians match.

'It is great to have such a big group of young, exciting players with us for the Barbarians match. I view this as a great opportunity to start building for the future. The selection of many of these players are part of our road map for 2019. They are identified as part of our succession planning going forward. Their selection in the Springbok squad is reward for their consistently good performances this year, at both Super Rugby and Currie Cup level.

The Springbok coach added: 'Francois, Jean-Luc, Sergeal and Roelof will stay behind as part of the Springbok squad for the Tests against England, Italy and Wales. It will be good for them to experience the ethos of the Springboks while on tour and with strong performances, I am sure that they will be involved on a regular basis with the Springboks in the future.

'It is also very pleasing to see the return JP and Jannie, as their experience will be vital for us, as well as Ruan, who is now fully fit again. They are welcome additions to the squad because we have a long list of injured players who are unfortunately not available for selection.'

The following players, who were part of Bok squads earlier this year, were not considered for the tour because of injuries: Lwazi Mvovo, De Jongh, Hougaard, Louw, Siya Kolisi, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Frans Malherbe, Redelinghuys and Scarra Ntubeni.

Adriaan Strauss remains the captain and will lead both squads in his last Springbok tour before his retirement from international rugby.

The Springbok squad for the outgoing Tests against England, Italy and Wales:

Backs – Johan Goosen, Pat Lambie, Ruan Combrinck, Sergeal Petersen, Willie le Roux, Jesse Kriel, Lionel Mapoe, Francois Venter, Bryan Habana, JP Pietersen, Damian de Allende, Elton Jantjies, Faf de Klerk, Rudy Paige, Piet van Zyl.

Forwards  Warren Whiteley, Teboho Mohoje, Roelof Smit, Willem Alberts, Jaco Kriel, Jean-Luc du Preez, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Franco Mostert, Vincent Koch, Steven Kitshoff, Jannie du Plessis, Trevor Nyakane, Tendai Mtawarira, Adriaan Strauss (c), Bongi Mbonambi, Malcolm Marx.

The Bok squad for the Barbarians match:

Backs – Cheslin Kolbe, Jamba Ulengo, Jesse Kriel, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Sergeal Petersen, Ruan Combrinck, Francois Venter, Damian de Allende, Tian Schoeman, Pat Lambie, Rudy Paige, Faf de Klerk, Piet van Zyl.

Forwards – Nizaam Carr, Roelof Smit, Uzair Cassiem, Jean-Luc du Preez, Oupa Mohoje, Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit, RG Snyman, Lood de Jager, Lourens Adriaanse, Trevor Nyakane, Thomas du Toit, Lizo Gqoboka, Tendai Mtawarira, Adriaan Strauss, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi.

Photo: Gerhard Steenkamp/BackpagePix

Post by

Craig Lewis