Warrick Gelant and Kwagga Smith have both been named in the Springboks’ official 31-man squad for the upcoming World Cup in Japan.
Bok coach Rassie Erasmus has gone for a conventional 17-14 split between forwards and backs, with Gelant providing cover at fullback and Smith at loose forward.
Rynhardt Elstadt is the unlucky player to have been left out of the 32-man squad that spent last week training in Bloemfontein.
The squad features three players attending their third Rugby World Cup – Frans Steyn, Tendai Mtawarira and Francois Louw – and 12 players making their second expedition, providing a spine of experience.
Fourteen of the squad made their Test debut since the last tournament in 2015, while six of those have been capped in the past two seasons since Erasmus took over the team’s coaching duties. The half dozen are Herschel Jantjies, Cheslin Kolbe, Sbu Nkosi, Makazole Mapimpi, Smith and RG Snyman.
There are five players with more than 50 caps – Eben Etzebeth, Willie le Roux, Louw, Steyn and Mtawarira – with the latter the most experienced player in the squad with 110 caps.
The Springboks open their Rugby World Cup campaign against New Zealand in Yokohama on Saturday, 21 September before further Pool B matches against Namibia (28 September), Italy (4 October) and Canada (8 October).
The top two teams from the Springboks’ pool will face quarter-finals against the top two teams from Pool A featuring Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Russia and Samoa.
The Springboks will play a final warm-up match against Japan on Friday, 6 September in Kumagaya.
Springboks’ World Cup squad:
Forwards – Schalk Brits, Lood de Jager, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Siya Kolisi, Francois Louw, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Tendai Mtawarira, Franco Mostert, Trevor Nyakane, Kwagga Smith, RG Snyman, Duane Vermeulen.
Backs – Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Faf de Klerk, Warrick Gelant, Elton Jantjies, Herschel Jantjies, Cheslin Kolbe, Jesse Kriel, Makazole Mapimpi, Sbu Nkosi, Willie le Roux, Handre Pollard, Cobus Reinach, Frans Steyn.
Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images