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Introducing the new caps

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer announced nine new caps – in his 32-man squad – ahead of this month's three-Test Series against England.

We bring your more information on those nine new faces, whilst also assessing their chances of actually playing against the English.

Will all nine new caps feature?

Aren't some of them injured?

Have two not already played for the Springboks at some level?

All that, and more, will be answered below:


Date of Birth: May 8, 1991

Height: 1,90m

Weight: 106kg

The former Port Natal scholar has been on an upward curve since joining the Sharks Academy in 2010. He did not play Craven Week rugby, yet it took him just one year – after leaving school – to make the SA Under-20 squad and the Sharks' Super Rugby group. Energetic and able to play to the ball, he looks set to feature in the matchday squad against England – Meyer thinks he will make a good openside and he comes without the 'penalty threat' it seems.


Date of Birth: February 22, 1989

Height: 1,90m

Weight: 91kg

The lanky centre-cum-wing clearly never got a decent shout at the Stormers – given that he played behind Gio Aplon (and Danie Poolman) at Super Rugby level last year and has now, in essence, replaced his former provincial teammate in the Bok squad. Engelbrecht has grabbed his chances at the Bulls with both hands – even leap-frogging his fellow former Stormer, Johann Sadie, in the pecking order in Pretoria. He is unlikely to feature against England, but this call-up – as part of SA's top 30 players – would have done his confidence the world of good.


Date of Birth: October 29, 1991

Height: 2,03m

Weight: 120kg

The biggest success story of the Varsity Cup, the Ikey Tigers lock looks set to go from club player, to Stormers player… to a Test player – all in the space of twelve months. Aggressive, mobile and hungry to learn, the sky is the limit for the former Tygerberg High School scholar. He will probably get his initial chance off the bench against England.


Date of Birth: August 1, 1990

Height: 1,76m

Weight: 84kg

Like the Lions this season, Jantjies' game has been up and down. Jantjies has played for the Boks before, in a non-cap international against the Barbarians in 2010, but he will probably be behind Morné Steyn and Pat Lambie in the pecking order, given the former's experience and the latter's utility value. There is no doubting his quality – as a playmaker and a goalkicker – but his time will come.


Date of Birth: September 6, 1985

Height: 1,98m

Weight: 110kg

Without Andries Bekker, the former Northampton Saints player looks a shoo-in for the No.5 jumper against the English and seems set to be his country's line-out leader and kingpin. Having played with Dylan Hartley (England's first-choice hooker) and loose forward Phil Dowson during his stint at the Saints, Kruger could use those experiences in his favour against the English.


Date of Birth: March 22, 1989

Height: 1,85m

Weight: 127kg

The skilful, yet powerful prop forward looks a likely choice for the Springbok bench – given his ability to play both sides in the front row. Like Jantjies, he has played in Green & Gold before, also against the Barbarians, but he is yet to play Test rugby. His ball-carrying abilities are a strong part of his game, but he does not stand back to many players come scrum time either.


Date of Birth: April 24, 1986

Height: 1,94m

Weight: 112kg

Unless Potgieter makes a miraculous recovery from his knee injury (he dislocated his knee cap during mid-May, ruling him out for six to eight weeks), his stay in the squad will be more sidelined-related than anything else. The former EP Kings star had a brief trial/training stint with the Stormers, but his star has clearly been on the rise since moving to Pretoria.


Date of Birth: March 14, 1983

Height: 1,98m

Weight: 114kg

Van der Merwe has been a consistent performer for the Lions in recent years, despite their struggles and despite being stripped of the captaincy last year. His selection, however, was still quite a big surprise – given that he was never mentioned in any dispatches – but it seems that he is in the mix because of Bekker's untimely injury. Is he a better selection option than Etzebeth, Kruger or Van der Merwe? Time will tell.


Date of Birth: January 1, 1985

Height: 1,71m

Weight: 84kg

The former Lion has had few opportunities to impress this year, but his selection is overdue given his near-misses in recent years – all caused by some serious and untimely injuries. He made a controversial dash across the Jukskei River last year – much to the disgust of Lions coach John Mitchell – and although his former team ended the 2011 season as Currie Cup champions, he could be having the last laugh now with his Bok squad selection. It does, however, seem unlikely that he will feature ahead of Francois Hougaard or Ruan Pienaar and he would have been an 11th-hour selection in place of Fourie du Preez.

* What do YOU think of the nine new caps? Should Siya Kolisi have been part of this group, or is there someone else missing?


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