Updated: Jul 27, 2022
Head Coach Jacques Nienaber has named a 41 man squad for the upcoming Rugby Championship which will see the side face back to back tests against the All Blacks at home before travelling to Australia and Argentina. There are a number of changes to the side, some injury enforced and others returning to play, whilst two players are unlucky to miss out all together.
Probably most crucial is the return of both World Cup veterans Duane 'Thor' Vermeulen and Frans Steyn who bring back 134 tests combined experience to the squad. Duane has recovered from knee surgery he underwent at the conclusion of the URC with Ulster, whilst Steyn has recovered from the hamstrung strain he sustained with the Cheetahs in the Currie Cup.
Cobus Reinach needs to pass a medical with his club side Montpellier before he can be considered for selection and will likely link up with the side prior to their departure for Australia in a few weeks time. There is plenty of competition at scrumhalf at the moment and his inclusion will only add fuel to an already big fire burning there. The depth is something to behold.
Marcell Coetzee and Aphelele Fassi will return to their domestic franchises as the coaches have sufficient cover in the loose trio and back three and they are now seen as surplus to requirements. Kolbe was also not considered for selection due to injury, after he sustained a fractured jaw in the final test against Wales in Cape Town.
“It is disappointing for Aphelele and Marcell, but we were limited in how many players we could select. That said, we know what both of them can do on the field and we have a big picture in mind with the Rugby World Cup next year.
This is a strong squad but they will have their work cut out for them in their hunt for Rugby Championship glory.
Props: Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks) Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers) Vincent Koch (Wasps) Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers) Ntuthuko Mchunu (Cell C Sharks) Ox Nche (Cell C Sharks) Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92)
Hookers: Joseph Dweba (DHL Stormers) Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) Bongi Mbonambi (Cell C Sharks)
Locks: Lood de Jager (Wild Knights) Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks) Salmaan Moerat (DHL Stormers) Ruan Nortje (Vodacom Bulls) Marvin Orie (DHL Stormers)
Loose forwards: Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz) Siya Kolisi (Cell C Sharks) Elrigh Louw (Vodacom Bulls) Evan Roos (DHL Stormers) Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs) Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers) Duane Vermeulen (Ulster)
Utility forwards: Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse) Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers) Franco Mostert (Honda Heat)
Scrumhalves: Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles) Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks) Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers) Grant Williams (Cell C Sharks)
Flyhalves: Elton Jantjies (NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes) Handre Pollard (Leicester Tigers)
Midfielders: Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks) Damian de Allende (Wild Knights) Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins) Jesse Kriel (Cannon Eagles)
Outside Backs: Warrick Gelant (Racing 92) Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz) Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks)
Utility Backs: Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls) Frans Steyn (Toyota Cheetahs) Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers)