Bok Showdown: Green and Gold teams revealed
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENTS: A raft of Springboks, BlitzBoks and Junior Boks made the cut in two 25-man matchday squads after a draft pick – the first of its kind in South African rugby history – for the Springbok Showdown in Cape Town on Saturday, October 3.
See teams below
The two squads boast 13 members of the Rugby World Cup-winning squad from last year in Japan, as well as some exciting young players who will get to rub shoulders with established internationals for the eagerly awaited clash at Newlands next Saturday (kick-off at 17.05 local time).
Rassie Erasmus, the SA Rugby Director of Rugby, and Jacques Nienaber, the newly-appointed Springbok head coach, selected the two 25-man squads on Friday during a live draft draw in Johannesburg.
Erasmus is the team commissioner for the Green squad, which will be coached by Mzwandile Stick, while Nienaber (team commissioner) and Deon Davids (coach) will be in charge of the Gold squad.
The 50 players who made the cut after the draft picks were selected from the initial 93 players that were unveiled last week. The two squads and management members will assemble in Cape Town on Sunday, September 27, where they will prepare their match day preparations separately from each other in their respective “bio-bubble environments”.
The players, all of whom are based in South Africa, were drafted and pooled into two squads of 25 each by the respective team commissioners and coaches.
Furthermore, each squad will be augmented by seven rookies, whose names will be announced in the coming days. These players, who will return to their provinces the day before the match if they are not required to step into either squad as replacements, were selected to gain experience of a typical Springbok squad environment in the weeklong build-up to the eagerly awaited Cape Town clash.
“The draft picks exercise was a refreshing way to select the two squads for the game,” explained Erasmus.
“Myself, Jacques and the coaches thoroughly enjoyed the exercise, but the tension of picking squads on live television wasn’t good for the nerves – I want to thank SuperSport for their support in this project and I hope our fans enjoyed something new on the South African rugby landscape.”
Erasmus added that the Springboks’ brains trust grabbed the unique opportunity to cast the net very wide in order to compile the original list of 93, and then whittling it down to 50 on Friday.
The enlarged player group were identified during Super Rugby and the Pro14 action earlier in the year, and last year’s Currie Cup, while the younger players on the list have been part of SA Rugby’s Elite Player Development (EPD) programme in the last couple of years.
A number of players who are currently injured were not considered for the match, including World Rugby and SA Rugby Player of the Year, Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers, loose forward), as well as RWC-winner Sbu Nkosi (Sharks, wing), Aphelele Fassi (Sharks, fullback) and Lizo Gqoboka (Bulls, prop).
Erasmus said the players were picked from a very dynamic draft list and he thanked the franchise teams for their collaboration during the entire identification, monitoring and drafting process.
Green Team: 15 Gianni Lombard, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche.
Replacements: Schalk Erasmus, Thomas du Toit, Luan de Bruin, Oupa Mohoje, Juarno Augustus, Junior Pokomela, Embrose Papier, Manie Libbok, Jeremy Ward, Malcolm Jaer.
Team Commissioner: Rassie Erasmus
Team coach: Mzwandile Stick
Gold Team: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Rosko Specman, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Sergeal Petersen, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Nizaam Carr, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: Dylan Richardson, Dylan Smith, Ruan Dreyer, Jason Jenkins, James Venter, Vincent Tshituka, Jaden Hendrikse, Curwin Bosch, Werner Kok, Manual Rass.
Team Commissioner: Jacques Nienaber
Team Coach: Deon Davids
Here are your two squads from the Castle Lager Springbok Showdown player draft.
Don’t miss out on the action taking place on 3 October 2020 at DHL Newlands.
— Springboks (@Springboks) September 25, 2020