Home Sport Springboks extend squad heading to New Zealand to 21

Springboks extend squad heading to New Zealand to 21

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Scrumhalves Grant Williams and Herschel Jantjies, together with forwards Marco van Staden and Jean Kleyn, are among the 21 players linking up with the rest of the Springboks and coaches in New Zealand.

Australia's Nic White (L) kicks the ball from the base of the scrum while South Africa's Jean Kleyn (2-R) and Pieter-Steph du Toit (R) try to stop the kick during the Rugby Championship.
Jean Kleyn and Pieter-Steph du Toit will are among the 21 players heading to New Zealand. Photo: EPA

Scrumhalves Grant Williams and Herschel Jantjies, together with forwards Marco van Staden and Jean Kleyn, are among the 21 players linking up with the rest of the Springboks and coaches in New Zealand on Tuesday.

Bok coach Jacques Nienaber opted to pick an extended squad after some impressive performances against the Wallabies this past Saturday in Pretoria.

It will also give him the luxury of fielding two different sides against each other from Tuesday as the preparation to take on New Zealand in Auckland takes further shape.

South Africa got the Southern Hemisphere tournament and their World Cup preparations off to a running start by walloping the Wallabies 43-12 in a one-sided affair at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Duane Vermeulen, who captained the side against Australia, along with Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe (props), Bongi Mbonambi (hooker), and Manie Libbok (flyhalf), are amongst the players set to join their 13 teammates and the uncapped prop Gerhard Steenekamp and the rest of the coaches Down Under.

Scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies and prop Trevor Nyakane, who did not feature against Australia, have also been included in the trip.

Van Staden, centre Andre Esterhuizen and Williams had good outings against the Wallabies and made strong cases to be included in a match-day squad somewhere in the Rugby Championship going forward.

Nienaber, Rassie Erasmus, director of rugby, and Felix Jones, Bok assistant coach, left for New Zealand immediately after the win at Loftus and will have the first training session with the early travellers on Monday already.

“It was always part of our planning that some of the players who ran out in the test against Australia would travel to New Zealand, and given some impressive performances today, we decided to take a few more players than we originally planned for,” Erasmus said in a statement.

“We now have the luxury of having a bunch of fresh players to work with in New Zealand from Monday, and they’ll be joined by a group who have experienced the physicality of Australia and who can add energy and momentum at training from Tuesday.

“We’ll analyse the match on our journey to New Zealand and then announce our team to face the All Blacks on Tuesday.”

Lock Eben Etzebeth, who recently recovered from a shoulder injury, has already started training in Auckland and will lead the side against the All Blacks should he come through the week unscathed.

A host of changes are expected in the Bok side from the one that played Australia as the Boks will return to more settled combinations for the test that will surely show them exactly how far along in their World Cup preparations they are.

Additional travelling Springbok players:

Forwards: Thomas du Toit (prop), Pieter-Steph du Toit (loose forward), Deon Fourie (utility forward), Steven Kitshoff (prop), Jean Kleyn (lock), Vincent Koch (prop) Frans Malherbe (prop), Bongi Mbonambi (hooker), Trevor Nyakane (prop), RG Snyman (lock), Marco van Staden (flank), Duane Vermeulen (No 8).

Backs: Lukhanyo Am (centre), Kurt-Lee Arendse (wing), Andre Esterhuizen (centre), Herschel Jantjies (scrumhalf), Willie le Roux (fullback), Manie Libbok (flyhalf), Cobus Reinach (scrumhalf), Damian Willemse (utility back), Grant Williams (scrumhalf).

@LeightonK

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