Two Springbok Training Squads Named Ahead Of Rugby World Cup
South African Springboks rugby coach Heyneke Meyer has named two squads which will gather for training camps in May and June, in preparation for the upcoming World Cup later in the year.
The first camp is currently taking place in Johannesburg, and will run until May 6. The second camp will be held in Cape Town from May 31 to June 3. The international season starts on July 11 with a match against a World XV side set to take place in the Mother City.
Vincent Koch, Faf de Klerk and Cheslin Kolbe are the only completely new names in the squads, with the other 16 uncapped players having been involved in some capacity with the Springboks, in training, planning or touring squads with the team.
Speaking at a press conference when announcing the squads, coach Meyer mentioned that he is naming many uncapped players due to their excellent form for their club sides.
“The door to Springbok selection is never closed and by inviting these players we are rewarding great form for their franchises in Vodacom Super Rugby,” said the Springbok coach, according to SuperSport.
“The amazing thing is that most of these 19 uncapped players have been involved with us before, but I’m always excited to work with new players. This year, players such as Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch and Jesse Kriel, to name but a few, have been in great form in Vodacom Super Rugby and they are certainly knocking on the selection door,” Meyer added.
“The Rugby World Cup squad will only be announced at the end of August and there is still a lot of places we’re undecided on. The same goes for a number of more familiar faces, who have recovered from injury and are playing good rugby again. It’s always good to see experienced players back in the frame,” he said.
Amongst the players named, captain Jean de Villiers, Pat Lambie and Pieter-Steph du Toit are all injured at the moment, so their fitness and recovery progress will be monitored at the camps, but they will not be heavily involved in physical training. Players based outside of South Africa have not been considered for these two camps.
The Springbok training squads
Johannesburg camp – 3 to 6 May:
Forwards (26): Arno Botha, Ruan Botha, Heinrich Brüssow, Schalk Burger, Nizaam Carr, Robbie Coetzee, Lood de Jager, Jacques du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Dean Greyling, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Siya Kolisi, Lappies Labuschagne, Frans Malherbe, Victor Matfield, Teboho Mohoje, Trevor Nyakane, Scarra Ntubeni, Coenie Oosthuizen, Pierre Spies, Adriaan Strauss, Marcel van der Merwe, Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley.
Backs (18): Bjorn Basson, Demetri Catrakilis, Damian de Allende, Juan de Jongh, Faf de Klerk, Jean de Villiers, Cornal Hendricks, Francois Hougaard, Elton Jantjies, Jesse Kriel, Pat Lambie, Willie le Roux, Lionel Mapoe, Rudy Paige, Handré Pollard, Jan Serfontein, Kobus van Wyk, Francois Venter.
Cape Town camp – 31 May to 3 June:
Forwards (27): Willem Alberts, Ruan Botha, Heinrich Brüssow, Schalk Burger, Nizaam Carr, Marcell Coetzee, Robbie Coetzee, Lood de Jager, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jean Deysel, Eben Etzebeth, Lizo Gqoboka, Ryan Kankowski, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Siya Kolisi, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Teboho Mohoje, Tendai Mtawarira, Scarra Ntubeni, Coenie Oosthuizen, Michael Rhodes, Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley.
Backs (17): Demetri Catrakilis, Damian de Allende, Juan de Jongh, Faf de Klerk, Jean de Villiers, Nic Groom, Cornal Hendricks, Elton Jantjies, Cheslin Kolbe, Pat Lambie, Willie le Roux, Lionel Mapoe, Lwazi Mvovo, JP Pietersen, Cobus Reinach, Kobus van Wyk, Francois Venter.