Boks add extra muscle for next leg
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: The Springboks arrived in Port Elizabeth on Sunday, gearing up for the next leg of their 2021 international campaign – the Rugby Championship.
In the wake of their two-one series win over the British and Irish Lions, the Springboks will now firmly focus on the Rugby Championship matches against Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.
This comes after the Boks wrapped up the series against the B&I Lions with a dramatic 19-16 victory in the final Test in Cape Town at the weekend.
It was revealed that seasoned lock Rudolph Snyman, who late last week left the Springbok camp to return to Limerick where he will continue his rehabilitation with Irish province Munster, will rejoin the squad next week.
Snyman, who joined the Bok squad at the end of June ahead of the B&I Lions series, has not played since August last year – after he suffering a knee (ACL) injury in his Pro14 debut for Munster.
He was on course to return to action in May, before he suffered a setback with his knee.
The 26-year-old was then involved in a fire-pit accident at the Irish province, which left him and teammate Damian de Allende with burns.
Snyman required a skin graft, while De Allende’s injuries were more superficial.
However, the Bok media release on Sunday that Snyman will rejoin next week and accompany the team on their trip at Australasia – even though he is set to miss the Tests against Argentina this Saturday (August 14) and next week (August 21).
His return follows the arrival last week of Duane Vermeulen (No.8), Rosko Specman (wing), Jaden Hendrikse (scrumhalf) and Johan Grobbelaar (hooker) – taking the size of the squad to 43 players.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber and his charges made the journey from Cape Town and Port Elizabeth on Sunday and will begin their on-field preparations for the Southern Hemisphere spectacle on Monday.
“We are very proud about winning Lions Series and as a team we enjoyed celebrating that massive feat on Saturday, but we have a big week ahead,” said Nienaber.
“Our first Test against Argentina in the Rugby Championship is on Saturday [August 14], so everything we do now has to be geared toward delivering a quality performance to kick off our campaign.
“We have two important games at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and then we travel to Australasia for the away leg of the tournament.
“With a long season ahead, it is important that we build on the strides made in our last few matches when we take the field in the coming weeks.”
Nienaber reported that there were no serious injuries from Saturday’s match, but he said they may look at resting a few players this week after the physically taxing Lions Series.
“We selected a big squad with the intention of being as well prepared as possible for the season ahead,” he said.
“There are some players who were part of the initial 46-man squad for our conditioning camp in June, who have not had an opportunity yet, so we will look to give them some of them a run in the next few weeks.
“It is important that we manage the players well to maintain the standards we have set for ourselves, and that includes game time for some players and resting others who have had a heavy load in the last few weeks.”
(Updated Bok squad below video …)
South African squad
Props: Thomas du Toit, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Wilco Louw, Frans Malherbe, Retshegofaditswe Nché, Trevor Nyakane.
Hookers: Joseph Dweba, Johan Grobbelaar, Malcolm Marx, Mbongeni Mbonambi.
Locks: Lodewyk de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Franco Mostert, Marvin Orie, Rudolph Snyman.
Loose forwards: Siyamthanda Kolisi, Albertus Smith, Marco van Staden, Duane Vermeulen, Jasper Wiese, Dan du Preez.
Utility forward: Rynhardt Elstadt.
Scrumhalves: Francois de Klerk, Jaden Hendrikse, Herschel Jantjies, Cobus Reinach.
Flyhalves: Elton Jantjies, Handré Pollard, Morné Steyn.
Midfielders: Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Jesse Kriel.
Outside backs: Aphelele Fassi, Cheslin Kolbe, Willie le Roux, Makazole Mapimpi, Sibusiso Nkosi, Rosko Specman.
Utility backs: Damian Willemse, Frans Steyn.
* Picture credit: Orton Media Photo