Springboks Team Named For Rugby Championship Opener With Australia

Opening round.

Rassie Erasmus has named his Springboks team for this weekend’s Rugby Championship opener with Australia in Johannesburg, with lock Eben Etzebeth named as captain.

Rynhardt Elstadt and Herschel Jantjies will both make their Test debuts, with Schalk Brits, Marcell Coetzee and Frans Steyn all named on the replacements bench.

Erasmus says he and the Springbok team are excited for the start of the international season.

“The squad have trained together for more than three weeks and this match is important for us to start a very important rugby year,” said Erasmus.

With the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan fast approaching, Erasmus said each of the three Rugby Championship matches was vital.

“We want to win the Castle Lager Rugby Championship and we have a specific plan, which starts Saturday with the first Test against the Wallabies,” Erasmus added.

“We have planned to mix things up in the first two Tests of the season, in order to give game time to as many of the players in our wider squad, and we believe this is the right combination to face a very good and competitive Australian side.

“We are excited for the forthcoming year and I want to congratulate Rynhardt, Herschel and Lizo on their first inclusion in a Springbok match-day squad, while the leadership role is not something new for Eben. The build-up has been good and there is definitely a very good vibe for match.

“Australia have prepared very well for this match and they have spent two weeks at altitude to acclimatise to the Highveld, so we are in for a great contest,”

Springboks team to take on Australia:

15. Warrick Gelant (Vodacom Bulls)
14. Sbu Nkosi (Cell C Sharks)
13. Jesse Kriel (Vodacom Bulls)
12. André Esterhuizen (Cell C Sharks)
11. Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks)
10. Elton Jantjies (Emirates Lions)
9. Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers)

8. Francois Louw (Bath, England)
7. Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers)
6. Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse, France)
5. Lood de Jager (Vodacom Bulls)
4. Eben Etzebeth (captain, DHL Stormers)
3. Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls)
2. Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers)
1. Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks)

Replacements:

16. Schalk Brits (Vodacom Bulls)
17. Lizo Gqoboka (Vodacom Bulls)
18. Vincent Koch (Saracens, England)
19. Marvin Orie (Emirates Lions)
20. Marcell Coetzee (Ulster, Ireland)
21. Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints, England)
22. Frans Steyn (Montpellier, France)
23. Dillyn Leyds (DHL Stormers)