Mon 12 Jul 2021 | 01:36

Am to lead full-strength SA 'A' side

Am to lead full-strength SA 'A' side
Mon 12 Jul 2021 | 01:36
Am to lead full-strength SA 'A' side

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber named 18 Rugby World Cup winners in a strong South Africa ‘A’ team captained by Lukhanyo Am for their clash with the British & Irish Lions in a  Lions Series match at Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday.


Uncapped Joseph Dweba (hooker) and Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg (lock) were also among the 25 named – including 10 replacements from which the final eight will be confirmed closer to kick off.

The starting XV features five players who started in the Springboks’ Test against Georgia a little over two weeks ago while Morne Steyn, who kicked the penalty goal to win a series against the Lions 12 years ago, makes his reacquaintance with the famous red jersey.

“We’re pleased to be able to name a quality team with a number of experienced players despite the challenges in the last week, which included the entire squad being confined to their rooms as part of the team’s preventative self-isolation measures,” said Nienaber.

“We may have lost our captain Siya (Kolisi), but there is a good leadership core within this group with the likes of Morné, Willie (le Roux), Eben (Etzebeth), Trevor (Nyakane) and Steven (Kitshoff), among others, whose experience will be invaluable in a match against a quality British & Irish Lions outfit.

“Players such as Joseph and Nicolaas will also get their first taste of running out in the green and gold at senior level in what will mark a memorable occasion in their careers and we are excited to see them showcase their skills.”

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The five players who started against Georgia are Willie le Roux (fullback), Pieter-Steph du Toit (flank), Franco Mostert, Eben Etzebeth (both locks) and Trevor Nyakane (prop); all World Cup winners. Other veterans of Japan 2019 in the starting team are prop Steven Kitshoff, Faf de Klerk at scrumhalf, wings Cheslin Kolbe and Sbu Nkosi and centres Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am.

Jasper Wiese (No 8), who made his Test debut against Georgia, joins Marco van Staden and Du Toit in the loose trio, while Rugby World Cup winners among the extended replacement squad are Vincent Koch (prop), Kwagga Smith (loose forward), Herschel Jantjies (scrumhalf), Elton Jantjies (flyhalf), Jesse Kriel (centre) and Damian Willemse (utility back). The coach is set to make the final call on which players will serve as the replacements in the next two days.

Nienaber has handed over the coaching reigns to Erasmus as he continues to self-isolate after testing positive for COVID-19. Nienaber said: “Rassie has been hands-on in our coaching and team selection meetings, he helped formulate our team structures, and he knows the players and coaching staff well, so it’s not an issue to adapt.”


The Springboks arrived in Cape Town on Sunday, while the players and team management who are in self-isolation will complete their mandatory isolation period in Johannesburg before making the trip to Cape Town on Wednesday.

South Africa A: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Sbu Nkosi, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements (from): 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Jesse Kriel, 23 Damian Willemse, 24 Kwagga Smith, 25 Elton Jantjies

Date: Wednesday, July 14
Venue: Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Kick-off: 20.00 (19.00 BST; 18.00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

PV: 15
Am to lead full-strength SA 'A' side | Rugby365