Several newcomers have been included in the Springboks’ 46-man squad that was announced ahead of the British & Irish Lions series on Saturday.
Frans Steyn and Morne Steyn are in line to experience the rare honour of facing the British & Irish Lions for a second time after being named in an expanded squad featuring several Rugby World Cup winners and exciting uncapped players for the Lions series and Georgia internationals.
Mark Alexander, president of SA Rugby, on Saturday announced the squad that will do duty for the first time since the Springboks lifted the Webb Ellis Cup in Japan on 2 November 2019, with 29 Rugby World Cup winners and eight uncapped players in the 46-man squad.
The Springboks will line up against Georgia on successive Fridays, 2 and 9 July, before battling it out against the British & Irish Lions in three Tests on 24 and 31 July, and 7 August, respectively.
The South Africa A team, which will comprise players from this squad, will also meet the Lions on Wednesday, 14 July.
Apart from Morne Steyn (flyhalf) – who kicked the penalty goal that clinched the series win in 2009 – and Frans Steyn (centre), both of whom were key members of the Springbok team during the 2009 campaign, this year’s extravaganza will have extra significance for Duane Vermeulen (No 8), who was a member of the Emerging Springbok team that season.
The entire 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning squad, except for the retired trio of Tendai Mtawarira, Francois Louw and Schalk Brits, and the injured Warrick Gelant, were named in Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber’s squad.
The eight uncapped players are Joseph Dweba (hooker), Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg (lock), Jasper Wiese (loose forward), Sanele Nohamba (scrumhalf), Wandisile Simelane (centre), Yaw Penxe, Rosko Specman (both wings) and Aphelele Fassi (fullback).
Seven players in the squad boast 50 or more Test caps, with Eben Etzebeth leading the pack with an impressive 85 caps, while Morne Steyn – who last featured in the green and gold in 2016 – headlines a list of 10 players who will make a welcome return to the Springbok squad.
The team will kick off their preparations on Monday with a three-week conditioning camp in Bloemfontein. The locally based players will assemble at their base on Sunday, with the overseas-based players joining in clusters according to their club commitments.
The squad will be trimmed following the encounter between the South Africa A team and British & Irish Lions.
Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks, 12 caps, 0 pts)
Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers, 47 caps, 5 pts)
Vincent Koch (Saracens, 21 caps, 0 pts)
Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers, 38 caps, 5 pts)
Ox Nché (Cell C Sharks, 1 cap, 0 pts)
Trevor Nyakane (Bulls, 42 caps, 5 pts)
Coenie Oosthuizen (Sale Sharks, 30 caps, 20 pts)
Joseph Dweba (Bordeaux-Bègles, uncapped)
Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears, 33 caps, 25 pts)
Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers, 36 caps, 35 pts)
Scarra Ntubeni (DHL Stormers, 1 cap, 0 pts)
Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks, 45 caps, 25 pts)
Eben Etzebeth (Toulon, 85 caps, 15 pts)
Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg (Montpellier, uncapped)
Franco Mostert (Honda Heat, 39 caps, 5 pts)
Marvin Orie (DHL Stormers, 3 caps, 0 pts)
RG Snyman (Munster, 23 caps, 5 pts)
Dan du Preez (Sale Sharks, 4 caps, 0 pts)
Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers, 55 caps, 25 pts)
Siya Kolisi (Cell C Sharks, 50 caps, 30 pts)
Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Júbilo, 6 caps, 0 pts)
Marco van Staden (Bulls, 3 caps, 0 pts)
Duane Vermeulen (Bulls, 54 caps, 15 pts)
Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers, uncapped)
Jean-Luc du Preez (Sale Sharks, 13 caps, 10 pts)
Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse, 2 caps, 0 pts)
Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, 30 caps, 20 pts)
Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers, 10 caps, 20 pts)
Sanele Nohamba (Cell C Sharks, uncapped)
Cobus Reinach (Montpellier, 14 caps, 30 pts)
Elton Jantjies (Pau, 37 caps, 281 pts)
Handre Pollard (Montpellier, 48 caps 457 pts)
Morne Steyn (Bulls, 66 caps, 736 pts)
Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks, 15 caps, 15 pts)
Damian de Allende (Munster, 47 caps, 30 pts)
Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles, 46 caps, 60 pts)
Wandisile Simelane (Emirates Lions, uncapped)
Frans Steyn (Toyota Cheetahs, 67 caps, 141 pts)
Aphelele Fassi (Cell C Sharks, uncapped)
Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse, 14 caps, 40 pts)
Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz, 61 caps, 60 pts)
Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks, 14 caps, 70 pts)
Sbu Nkosi (Cell C Sharks, 11 caps, 40 pts)
Yaw Penxe (Cell C Sharks, uncapped)
Rosko Specman (Toyota Cheetahs, uncapped)
Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers, 6 caps, 5 pts)
— SuperSport 🏆 (@SuperSportTV) June 5, 2021
Photo: Gallo Images