Whilst naming the Springbok squad for the Castle Incoming Tour against England six up and coming players were identified to train with the Springbok Squad. Local Grey High School sensation and DHL Western Cape Player, Siya Kolisi has done his alma mater and home town proud by getting the nod. Expect a call from Alan Solomons, Siya – we want you home for 2013!
Nine uncapped players were included in the Springbok squad of 32 for the Castle Incoming Tour against England, named on Saturday in Pretoria by SARU CEO Jurie Roux and Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
The nine uncapped players are flanks Marcell Coetzee and Jacques Potgieter, locks Eben Etzebeth, Juandré Kruger and Franco van der Merwe, flyhalf Elton Jantjies, wing or centre JJ Engelbrecht, prop Coenie Oosthuizen and scrumhalf Jano Vermaak.
Jantjies and Oosthuizen toured with the Springboks at the end of the 2010 season and in the 2011 Castle Tri-Nations. Van der Merwe and Vermaak have previously played for the Emerging Springboks.
Meyer and the national selectors, Peter Jooste and Ian McIntosh, were unanimous when it came to finalising the squad. They have also recalled 15 members of the Rugby World Cup 2011 squad, while nine Rugby World Cup winners from 2007 remain in the squad.
The most experienced player in the squad is South Africa’s foremost Test try scorer Bryan Habana, with 74 caps. Six more players have played in excess of 40 Tests for South Africa.
“We were always looking to start the season with an experienced squad to face England, but injuries to certain players and the non-availability of others have made it difficult,” said Meyer.
“What we’ve lost in experience, we’ve made up in passion and desire to play for the Springboks.
“We have put together a squad with a nice balance between a number of veterans and players with less experience as we start to build for the rest of the season.
“Working with these players during our four Planning Camps this season has been great and really made a very difficult selection process a bit easier. There were a few unlucky players that didn’t make it and they will get opportunities in future as long as they keep on knocking on the door.
“The nine uncapped players have all put up their hands during Vodacom Super Rugby this year and we know they have what it takes to succeed at the highest level.
“We realise that it is impossible to please everyone when it comes to selecting squads like these, but we would really like to see the entire country stand behind us as we take on England.”
Furthermore, six promising players have been added to the Springbok squad for the next three weeks. They are not eligible for selection but will train with the squad in Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.
The six up-and-coming players are Siya Kolisi (flank), Arno Botha (No 8), Frans Malherbe (prop), CJ Stander (loose forward), Francois Venter (centre) and Piet van Zyl (scrumhalf).
Meyer said: “We feel that these players have what it takes to play for the Springboks and they were close to selection in the final squad. However, these three weeks provide the ideal opportunity to work with them, show them what the Springbok culture is all about and hopefully put them on the right track to play for South Africa sooner rather than later. By doing this now, we will reap the dividends going forward.
“We also rate a number of great players in the South African Under-20 squad, but they were not considered at this stage due to the fact that they are playing in a very important Junior World Championship.”
The Springbok squad is:
- Bryan Habana: Wing (DHL Western Province) with 74 Test caps
- Jean de Villiers: Centre (DHL Western Province) with 72 Test caps
- Ruan Pienaar: Scrumhalf (Ulster, Ireland) with 51 Test caps
- Frans Steyn: Centre (The Sharks) with 47 Test caps
- Pierre Spies: No 8 (Vodacom Blue Bulls) with 47 Test caps
- Bismarck du Plessis: Hooker (The Sharks) with 42 Test caps
- JP Pietersen: Wing (The Sharks) with 42 Test caps
- Wynand Olivier: Centre (Vodacom Blue Bulls) with 34 Test caps
- Morné Steyn: Flyhalf (Vodacom Blue Bulls) with 34 Test caps
- Tendai Mtawarira: Prop (The Sharks) with 32 Test caps
- Jannie du Plessis: Prop (The Sharks) with 30 Test caps
- Chiliboy Ralepelle: Hooker (Vodacom Blue Bulls) with 21 Test caps
- Ryan Kankowski: No 8 (The Sharks) with 19 Test caps
- Francois Hougaard: Scrumhalf (Vodacom Blue Bulls) with 15 Test caps
- Zane Kirchner: Fullback (Vodacom Blue Bulls) with 14 Test caps
- Patrick Lambie: Flyhalf / Fullback (The Sharks) with 11 Test caps
- Flip van der Merwe: Lock (Vodacom Blue Bulls) with 11 Test caps
- Adriaan Strauss: Hooker (Toyota FS Cheetahs) with 9 Test caps
- Willem Alberts: Loose forward (The Sharks) with 9 Test caps
- Bjorn Basson: Wing (Vodacom Blue Bulls) with 6 Test caps
- Lwazi Mvovo: Wing (The Sharks) with 4 Test caps
- Werner Kruger: Prop (Vodacom Blue Bulls) with 2 Test caps
- Keegan Daniel: Loose forward (The Sharks) with 1 Test caps
- JJ Engelbrecht: Centre / Wing (Vodacom Blue Bulls) with 0 Test caps
- Elton Jantjies: Flyhalf (MTN Golden Lions) with 0 Test caps
- Eben Etzebeth: Lock (DHL Western Province) with 0 Test caps
- Franco van der Merwe: Lock (MTN Golden Lions) with 0 Test caps
- Juandré Kruger: Lock (Vodacom Blue Bulls) with 0 Test caps
- Marcell Coetzee: Loose forward (The Sharks) with 0 Test caps
- Jacques Potgieter: Loose forward (Vodacom Blue Bulls) with 0 Test caps
- Coenie Oosthuizen: Prop (Toyota FS Cheetahs) with 0 Test caps
- Jano Vermaak: Scrumhalf (Vodacom Blue Bulls) with 0 Test caps
- 627 Test Caps
- 9 uncapped players
- 3 from DHL Western Province
- 2 from MTN Golden Lions
- 11 from The Sharks
- 2 from Toyota FS Cheetahs
- 1 from Ulster, Ireland
- 13 from Vodacom Blue Bulls who also have the highest number of debuts at four