Frans Malherbe, Sergeal Petersen and Seabelo Senatla have been ruled out of this Saturday’s Springbok Showdown due to injury, writes CRAIG LEWIS.
A raft of Springboks, Blitzboks and Junior Boks made the cut in two 25-man squads after a live draft pick – the first of its kind in South African rugby history – for the Springbok Showdown in Cape Town on Saturday, 3 October, which will be played behind closed doors.
The two squads boast 13 members of the World Cup-winning squad from last year in Japan, as well as some exciting young players.
Erasmus is the team commissioner for the Green squad, which will be coached by Mzwandile Stick, while Nienaber (team commissioner) and Deon Davids (coach) will be in charge of the Gold squad.
The 50 players who made the cut after the draft picks were selected from an initial group of 93 players. The two squads and management members have assembled in Cape Town, where they will commence their match-day preparations separately from each other in their respective ‘bio-bubble environments’.
At a virtual media conference on Monday, the Bok commissioners provided a squad update, confirming that one of the World Cup-winning squad members, experienced prop Malherbe, would not feature this weekend after picking up an injury while in action for the Stormers in this past weekend’s warm-up game.
Ruan Dreyer will now move into the starting lineup of the Gold squad, while the Lions’ Carlu Sadie will come on to the bench.
Meanwhile, Nienaber confirmed that although they were desperate to see Petersen in action, he picked up a niggle during high-speed running training last Friday, and will not be risked. His place will taken by Courtnall Skosan.
In the Green squad, Senatla suffered a hamstring tweak early on in the warm-up game, and as a precautionary measure, the wing will also not feature this weekend. Malcolm Jaer will start instead, while a member of the Young Guns squad will come in as a substitute.
Green Team: 15 Gianni Lombard, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: Schalk Erasmus, Thomas du Toit, Luan de Bruin, Teboho Mohoje, Juarno Augustus, Junior Pokomela, Embrose Papier, Manie Libbok, Jeremy Ward, Mnombo Zwelindaba.
Team Commissioner: Rassie Erasmus
Team coach: Mzwandile Stick
Gold Team: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Rosko Specman, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Nizaam Carr, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: Dylan Richardson, Dylan Smith, Carlu Sadie, Jason Jenkins, James Venter, Vincent Tshituka, Jaden Hendrikse, Curwin Bosch, Werner Kok, Manual Rass.
Team Commissioner: Jacques Nienaber
Team Coach: Deon Davids