Boks to miss Currie Cup

Twenty contracted Springboks will miss the rest of the Currie Cup and take part in a training camp in Stellenbosch.

The camp will take place from 20 to 24 October, the week of the Currie Cup final. The decision to invite the contracted players to the camp was taken in agreement with the provinces, after Saru decided to withdraw all nationally contracted players from the Currie Cup to aid in preparation for the end-of-year tour.

'The Springboks are our first priority and the provinces have been very supportive, which we’re very thankful for, said Saru CEO Jurie Roux. 'Following the agreement between Saru and the provinces, the contracted Springboks will not be available for the final round of pool matches as well as the Currie Cup play-off rounds.

'While it was impossible to put a blanket ban across all contracted Springboks to play for their provinces, the players utilised in the Rugby Championship were managed on an individual basis and released to play in the Currie Cup as the necessity arose.

'Most of them didn’t play any part in the Currie Cup but there were a couple of cases where players were released and that was done with the agreement and buy-in of all the provinces and Saru.'

The decision means that certain non-contracted members of the Rugby Championship squad will be eligible to turn out for their unions while contracted members like JJ Engelbrecht and Coenie Oosthuizen, who have been participating in the Currie Cup, will be withdrawn for the remainder of the season.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has welcomed the decision and the buy-in from all the provinces.

'This week will allow us to work intensely with the core of the squad for the tour in November, which will be a very tough outing with less than a year to go to the Rugby World Cup,' said Meyer.

The Springboks’ end-of-year tour itinerary includes Tests against Ireland in Dublin (8 November), England in London (15 November), Italy in Padova (22 November) and Wales in Cardiff (29 November).

'The match against Wales falls outside the IRB Test window so our overseas-based players will not be available for that match, which will provide a good test for our depth in South Africa and I’m excited to see what a number of our younger players can do in the Millennium Stadium,' said Meyer.

Contracted Springboks – Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Damian de Allende, Jean de Villiers, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, JJ Engelbrecht, Eben Etzebeth, Cornal Hendricks, Francois Hougaard, Siya Kolisi, Patrick Lambie, Willie le Roux, Victor Matfield, Tendai Mtawarira, Coenie Oosthuizen, Jan Serfontein, Adriaan Strauss, Flip van der Merwe, Duane Vermeulen.

Boks returning to unions – Cobus Reinach, Handré Pollard, Lood de Jager, Marcel van der Merwe, Lwazi Mvovo, Teboho Mohoje, Trevor Nyakane, Warren Whiteley.

Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix