BREAKING: No big Bok bolters
WORLD CUP NEWS: Siyamthanda Kolisi will lead a team that has no real big surprises when they head to Japan later this week.,
The squad features three players attending their third World Cup – Frans Steyn, Tendai Mtawarira and Francois Louw – and 12 players making their second expedition, providing a spine of experience.
Fourteen of the squad made their Test debut since the last tournament in 2015, while six of those have been capped in the past two seasons since Rassie Erasmus took over the team’s coaching duties.
The half dozen are Herschel Jantjies, Cheslin Kolbe, Sibusiso Nkosi, Makazole Mapimpi, Albertus Smith and Rudolph Snyman.
There are five players with more than 50 caps – Eben Etzebeth, Willie le Roux, Louw, Steyn and Mtawarira – the latter being the most experienced played in the squad with 110 caps.
“I am very happy with the squad we have been able to select,” said Erasmus.
“We have been developing this squad since the start of last season and in the 31 we have a good balance of established experience and some exciting youth.
“We set out with the goal of growing the depth of the squad and I am confident that any of this 31 can step into a play-off match at the Rugby World Cup and deliver an outstanding performance.”
The Springboks have given opportunities to 60 players in 18 Tests in the past two years to arrive at their 2019 combination.
All 31 – apart from Kolisi who only returned from injury nine days ago – appeared at some point in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship-winning campaign.
The squad is split between 14 backs and 17 forwards and only seven have fewer than 10 caps – Lukhanyo Am, Warrick Gelant, Jantjies, Kolbe, Nkosi and Smith.
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“We’ve been working towards this moment for the best part of two years and we’ve been lucky in achieving most of our goals this season,” said Erasmus.
“We’ve been able to give everyone in the squad some good game time as well as develop combinations with squad rotation and not lose momentum as we go to the World Cup.
“But the results and performances up to now will mean nothing once we are in Japan. It is a case of back to square one; putting in the work on the training field and in the planning sessions to build on what we have achieved.”
Backs: Herschelle Jantjies, Kobus Reinach, Warrick Gelant, Elton Jantjies, Handre Pollard, Makazola Mapimpi, Sibusiso Nkosi, Cheslin Kolbe, Francois de Klerk, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Willie le Roux, Frans Steyn, Jesse Kriel
Forwards: Schalk Brits, Mbongeni Mbonambi, Malcolm Marx, Frans Malherbe, Rudolph Snyman, Lodewyk de Jager, Franco Mostert, Vincent Koch, Steven Kitshoff, Albertus Smith, Trevor Nyakane, Francois Louw, Duane Vermeulen, Tendai Mtawarira, Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain)