Who will miss the Bok cut?
WORLD CUP SPOTLIGHT: On Monday, August 26, South Africa’s World Cup squad will be unveiled in Johannesburg.
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has dropped enough hints as to what the make-up of his squad will be.
In fact, a 36-man squad has assembled for a pre-World Cup training camp in Bloemfontein.
It is from this collection that the final 31-man squad will come.
The other players will become non-travelling reserves.
Given that four – Lizo Gqoboka (Blue Bulls), Marvin Orie (Golden Lions), Thomas du Toit and André Esterhuizen (both Sharks) – have been released from the Springbok training squad back to their provinces for game time in Currie Cup, it is quite easy to deduct the names of those that will be on the plane to Japan.
Another four players who were part of the matchday 23 that played against Argentina in Pretoria last Saturday, were also released back to their provinces for Currie Cup duty.
The four are the Western Province trio of Wilco Louw (prop), Siyabonga Ntubeni (hooker) and Dillyn Leyds (wing), as well as Blue Bulls loose forward Marco van Staden.
They will also form part of the reserve pool of players that will stay home.
It leaves just one additional player from the current training squad in Bloemfontein that will drop out of the travelling squad to the reserve pool.
Erasmus has said, on more than one occasion, that the players already know where they stand.
That means they know who is going and staying – even though it will only be official this coming Monday.
Flyhalf Elton Jantjies, who praised the planning of Erasmus, also dropped hints that the squad will be largely unchanged from that which won the Rugby Championship.
.”This group has been together for three or four years with a similar composition,” Jantjies said.
“I know we have had different coaches, but we as individuals have come a long way.
“From my personal point of view, I think we now have the right system, defensively and in our kicking game, as well as from an attacking point of view.
“Everybody is aligned in terms of that. It is just for you as an individual do your role in the system.”
Jantjies says Erasmus has been a huge boost for the side after the disappointments of 2016 and 2017, where they racked up records for the wrong reasons, including a first-ever loss to Italy and a 57-0 hammering by New Zealand, who they will face in the pool stages at the World Cup.
Injuries have played a role in the make-up of the final squad.
Marcell Coetzee, who started against Los Pumas at the weekend, has undergone surgery and will be out of action for up to 12 weeks.
As a result, he is also ruled out of contention for selection for the Springboks’ World Cup squad.
He joins three other players in the Bok casualty ward.
World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year Aphiwe Dyantyi headlines the list of injured stars that won’t make the trip to Japan next month.
The wing, former Springboks skipper Warren Whiteley and highly-rated utility back Damian Willemse are also missing the trip to Japan.
The 36-man Springbok squad who have assembled for the training camp in Bloemfontein:
Forwards: Schalk Brits (Bulls), Lodewyk de Jager (Bulls), Thomas du Toit (Sharks), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse, France), Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), Lizo Gqoboka (Bulls), Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), Vincent Koch (Saracens, England), Siya Kolisi (Stormers), Francois Louw (Bath, England), Frans Malherbe (Stormers), Malcolm Marx (Lions), Bongi Mbonambi (Stormers), Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Franco Mostert (Gloucester, England), Trevor Nyakane (Bulls), Marvin Orie (Lions), Albertus Smith (Lions), Rudolph Snyman (Bulls), Duane Vermeulen (Bulls).
Backs: Lukhanyo Am (Sharks), Damian de Allende (Stormers), Francois de Klerk (Sale Sharks, England), André Esterhuizen (Sharks), Warrick Gelant (Bulls), Elton Jantjies (Lions), Herschel Jantjies (Stormers), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse, France), Jesse Kriel (Bulls), Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks), Sibusiso Nkosi (Sharks), Willie le Roux (Verblitz, Japan), Handré Pollard (Bulls), Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints, England), Frans Steyn (Montpellier, France).
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