South Africa name their 33-man Rugby World Cup squad
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Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber has named his 33-man Rugby World Cup squad ahead of the tournament in France next month, with a number of key players missing.
As reported earlier today, first-choice outhalf Handre Pollard (calf), centre Lukhanyo Am (knee) and Lood de Jager (chest problem) are all absent from the squad, and have been placed on standby with six other players.
The Springbok coaches say they are hopeful that they may return to full training before the start of the tournament and be available for call-up in the event of injury.
The squad comprises 19 forwards and 14 backline players, with Munster’s Jean Kleyn among those selected having recently switched his allegiance back to South Africa, having been part of Ireland’s squad for the last World Cup.
Siya Kolisi, who is expected to be back in action against Wales in two weeks, will captain the Springbok team for the second time at the Rugby World Cup when they take the field in France.
The nine players on the standby list are Am (centre), Joseph Dweba (hooker), De Jager (lock), Jean-Luc du Preez (utility forward), Thomas du Toit (prop), Herschel Jantjies (scrumhalf), Pollard (flyhalf), Evan Roos (No 8) and Gerhard Steenekamp (prop). The five travelling to the UK on Saturday are Dweba, Du Toit, Du Preez, Pollard and Am.
Springbok Rugby World Cup squad:
Props: Steven Kitshoff (Ulster – 74 caps, 10 points), Vincent Koch (Cell C Sharks – 45 caps, 0 points), Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers – 61 caps, 5 points), Ox Nche (Cell C Sharks – 19 caps, 0 points), Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92 – 61 caps, 5 points).
Hookers: Bongi Mbonambi (Cell C Sharks – 60 caps, 60 points), Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears – 61 caps, 75 points).
Locks: Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks – 112 caps, 25 points), Jean Kleyn (Munster – 2 caps, 0 points), Marvin Orie (Perpignan – 14 caps, 0 points), RG Snyman (Munster – 26 caps, 5 points).
Loose Forwards: Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz – 69 caps, 30 points), Siya Kolisi (captain – Racing 92 – 75 caps, 45 points), Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs – 33 caps, 25 points), Marco van Staden (Vodacom Bulls – 12 caps, 0 points), Duane Vermeulen (SA Rugby – 68 caps, 15 points), Jasper Wiese (Leicester – 22 caps, 5 points).
Utility Forwards: Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers – 7 caps, 0 points), Franco Mostert (Honda Heat – 65 caps, 15 points).
Scrumhalves: Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles – 48 caps, 44 points), Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks – 12 caps, 12 points), Cobus Reinach (Montpelllier – 25 caps, 45 points), Grant Williams (Cell C Sharks – 4 caps, 0 points).
Flyhalves: Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers – 7 caps, 45 points), Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers – 31 caps, 36 points).
Centres: Damian de Allende (Panasonic Wild Knights – 72 caps, 50 points), Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins – 13 caps, 0 points), Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles – 61 caps, 60 points).
Outside Backs: Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls – 9 caps, 50 points), Cheslin Kolbe (Suntory Sungoliath – 25 caps, 81 points), Willie le Roux (Vodacom Bulls – 86 caps, 65 points), Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks – 38 caps, 115 points), Canan Moodie (Vodacom Bulls – 6 caps, 10 points).