A 93-man squad was named all of whom are based in South Africa.
CAPE TOWN – A 93-man draft squad for the Springbok Showdown in Cape Town on October 3, featuring a large number of World Cup-winners alongside Blitzboks and Junior Boks, was announced by SA Rugby.
Of the 93 players, all of them are based in South Africa, with 32 of them capped Springboks, while 13 of the inclusions celebrated South Africa’s World Cup victory in Japan last year.
Fifty of the 93 players will be split into the two groups – a Green team and a Gold team – for the fixture scheduled for Newlands in two weeks’ time.
The Green squad will be coached by Mzwandile Stick, with Rassie Erasmus as team commissioner, while Deon Davids and Jacques Nienaber will be in charge of the Gold squad.
The players will be drafted into two squads of 25 each by the respective team commissioners and coaches. The two teams will be supplemented by seven rookies each, who will all return to their provinces the day before the match if they are not required to step into either squad as replacements.
The draft picks will take place live on SuperSport on Friday, with both squads gathering in Cape Town on Sunday.
“We’ve cast the net very wide for this match, which is a very exciting prospect – as Springbok coaches, we can’t wait to start working with the players,” said Erasmus.
“To make this a meaningful exercise, the match-day squads will be only 25 players, but we’ve decided to increase each squad with the seven young guns for a number of reasons.
“Firstly, we have to make provision should squad members pick up injuries or become ill and have to be replaced, in line with COVID-19 regulations.
“This match also provides us with a great opportunity for our younger players to rub shoulders with more experienced Springboks, especially since many of them missed out on Junior Springbok representation this year.”
Erasmus explained that the enlarged squad of players were identified during Super Rugby and the PRO14 earlier in the year, and last year’s Currie Cup, and that the younger players on the list have been part of SA Rugby’s Elite Player Development (EPD) programme for the last few of years.
“Even if they don’t make the final squads, it shows that our pathway from junior to senior level – as part of the EPD programme – works very well and it was especially exciting to see many of these players getting opportunities at franchise level in the last two seasons,” said Erasmus.
A number of players who are currently injured were not considered for the match, including World Rugby and SA Rugby Player of the Year, Pieter-Steph du Toit, as well as Sbu Nkosi and Aphelele Fassi.
Erasmus added that’s some names may still change before Friday, depending on players’ availability: “This draft list is very dynamic and we’re working closely with the unions to determine players’ availability, so it’s not impossible that the names can still change before Friday, when we do the actual picks.”
Springbok Showdown draft squad:
Props: Frans Malherbe, Thomas du Toit, Steven Kitshoff, Trevor Nyakane, Lizo Gqoboka, Ox Nche, Marcel van der Merwe, Ruan Dreyer, Dylan Smith, Carlu Sadie, Gerhard Steenekamp, Luan de Bruin, Sti Sithole, Nathan McBeth, Mzamo Majola, Johannes Jonker, John-Hubert Meyer.
Hookers: Bongi Mbonambi, Scarra Ntubeni, Dylan Richardson, Johan Grobbelaar, Schalk Erasmus, Fez Mbatha, Dan Jooste.
Locks: Jason Jenkins, Marvin Orie, Oupa Mohoje, JD Schickerling, Emile van Heerden, Le Roux Roets, Hyron Andrews, Ruben van Heerden, Salmaan Moerat, Sintu Manjezi, Walt Steenkamp, Reinhard Nothnagel, Ruan Vermaak, Ruben Schoeman.
Loose Forwards: Siya Kolisi, Duane Vermeulen, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Arno Botha, Marco van Staden, Nizaam Carr, Jaco Kriel, Ernst van Rhyn, Celimpilo Gumede, Jaco Coetzee, James Venter, Junior Pokomela, Phepsi Buthelezi, Thembelani Bholi, Vincent Tshituka, Elrigh Louw, Jeandré Rudolph, Juarno Augustus, Muller Uys, Len Massyn.
Scrumhalves: Herschel Jantjies, Embrose Papier, Ivan van Zyl, Jaden Hendrikse, Sanele Nohamba.
Flyhalves: Elton Jantjies, Damian Willemse, Curwin Bosch, George Whitehead, Kade Wolhuter, Manie Libbok.
Centres: Frans Steyn, Lukhanyo Am, Burger Odendaal, Jeremy Ward, Clinton Swart, Manuel Rass, Marius Louw, Rikus Pretorius, Wandisile Simelane, Werner Kok, Dan du Plessis, Ruhan Nel.
Outside backs: Warrick Gelant, Travis Ismaiel, Cornal Hendricks, Courtnall Skosan, Rabz Maxwane, Rosko Specman, Seabelo Senatla, Sergeal Petersen, Yaw Penxe, David Kriel, Gianni Lombard, Malcolm Jaer.