On this weeks episode of our podcast, Ronnie & I undertook the difficult task of selecting a starting team to feature in the opening fixture against Wales on the 2nd of July at Loftus. The Springboks have a 3 test tour coming up, with the advantage of two mid-week SA 'A' fixtures as well, a huge help for Jacques Nienaber and co. on their mission to build depth ahead of next years Rugby World Cup.
For the most part Ronnie and I were quite similar in our selections, however there are a few points of difference and we would love to hear from our readers in the comments. For a more rounded discussion on our selections, click the link below for this weeks episode of our podcast
MATCH DAY 23
Ox Nche 1. ox Nche
Bongi Mbonambi 2. Bongi Mbonambi
Thomas du Toit 3. Vincent Koch
Eben Etzebeth 4. Eben Etzebeth
Franco Mostert 5. Franco Mostert
Siya Kolisi (c) 6. Siya Kolisi
Pieter Steph du Toit 7. Pieter Steph du Toit
Evan Roos 8. Duane Vermeulen
Cobus Reinach 9. Faf de Klerk
Handre Pollard 10. Handre Pollard
Madosh Tambwe 11. Makazole Mapimpi
Damian De Allende 12. Damian De Allende
Lukhanyo Am 13. Lukhanyo Am
Cheslin Kolbe 14. Sbu Nkosi
Greene / Fassi 15. Cheslin Kolbe
Malcolm Marx 16. Malcolm Marx
Steven Kitshoff 17. Steven Kitshoff
Frans Malherbe 18. Trevor Nyakane
Lood de Jager 19. R G Snyman
Ruan Nortje 20. Marco van Staden
Duane Vermeulen 21. Cobus Reinach
Faf de Klerk 22. Andre Esterhuizen
Frans Steyn 23. Frans Steyn
Now there are some differences here in the team above, as there always will be. I have never seen anyone unanimously agree with a Springbok selection and I doubt this will be any different. For me the most telling selection debate here is the omission of Willie at 15 and the selection of either Kolbe, Fassi or Greene in the last line of defense.
8th man is also a point of contention with Ronnie backing the tried and trusted Thor, whilst I favored Roos in the spirit of development ahead of the World Cup. Duane will no doubt be my first choice in the Rugby Championship, but for now I believe Roos deserves the chance to establish himself at test level. I am also heavily in favour of the bomb squad approach whereas Ronnie prefers a more diplomatic approach to his bench.
Whatever the selections, we simply can't wait to be in the stands at Loftus for the 1st game, and the 23 who get to pull on the Green & Gold will have our full support. How does your team differ from ours?