Goosen gets a Bok call-up as Nienaber adds reinforcements
SQUAD UPDATE: Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber called up six players to his squad for Saturday’s final Year-end Tour Test against England, as a few players left camp to join up with their French and UK clubs following the match against Italy in Genoa.
South Africa ‘A’ team captain Thomas du Toit, Ntuthuko Mchunu (both props), Marco van Staden (flank), Johan Goosen (flyhalf) and Grant Williams (scrumhalf) will all join the Boks, while Bulls wing Canan Moodie has recovered from the hamstring injury that ruled him out of the tour and will also join up with the team in London.
Vincent Koch, Trevor Nyakane, Jasper Wiese, Cobus Reinach, Cheslin Kolbe and Andre Esterhuizen returned to their clubs as Saturday’s clash against England falls out of the international Test window.
“The players who will join us from the SA ‘A’ team all put up their hands in the midweek games and we are delighted to have them in the mix this week, while Canan has showed what he can do at Test level, and I am sure he will be delighted to be back in the squad,” said Nienaber.
“Some of the players were with us on tour until after the Ireland Test and it was always the plan to recall them at the conclusion of the SA ‘A’ matches.
“As we said from the outset we wanted as many players as possible to get game time on this tour as we look ahead to the Rugby World Cup next year, and we believe the players and the team will benefit from this in the next few months.”
Looking ahead at the Test against England at Twickenham, Nienaber said: “We know it is going to be a tough challenge, and as coaches we have already started turning our attention to that match.
“There are a lot of positives we can take from the Tests against Italy, France and Ireland, but England will pose a completely different challenge and we need to be ready for that. We really want to build momentum and finish the tour on a positive note, so we will work as hard as we can this week to achieve that.”
The Boks made the journey from Genoa to London on Sunday and will begin their on-field preparations on Monday.