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Springboks Name Exciting Training Squad For Blockbuster 2024

  • June 9, 2024
  • 4 min read
Springboks Name Exciting Training Squad For Blockbuster 2024

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has named a dynamic 35-man squad for the team’s first training camp of the season, kicking off in Pretoria on Monday. The focus will be on their opening Test against Wales on 22 June in London.

The Boks are primed for a thrilling 2024 season, starting with the Wales clash. The squad boasts a blend of 11 uncapped players alongside seasoned veterans from the victorious 2023 and 2019 Rugby World Cup squads.

These newcomers include Jordan Hendrikse (Jaden’s brother), Quan Horn, Edwill van der Merwe, and Morne van den Berg (all Emirates Lions), alongside Phepsi Buthelezi, Siya Masuku, Ethan Hooker (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Ben-Jason Dixon, Sacha Feinberg-Mgomezulu, Neethling Fouche, and Andre-Hugo Venter (DHL Stormers). All impressed throughout their respective competitions this season.

Players based in Europe, the UK, and Ireland won’t be considered for the Wales test at Twickenham. Additionally, players from the Vodacom Bulls, who reached the Vodacom United Rugby Championship semi-finals, are also absent from this squad.

The squad is balanced, with 19 forwards and 16 backs. Rugby World Cup-winning flyhalf Handre Pollard and eighthman Jasper Wiese (currently serving a six-week ban) are included in the group. While they can train with the team, they will only be eligible for selection after the Wales Test.

Erasmus selected players from the recently crowned EPCR Challenge Cup champions, the Hollywoodbets Sharks, along with the Emirates Lions and DHL Stormers. He also included those plying their trade in Japan. Notably, Hooker and Van der Merwe are the only players who didn’t participate in the Springbok alignment sessions held in March, May, and the virtual camp in early May.

“We’ve chosen a group with a healthy mix of youth and experience,” Erasmus said. “For the young players especially, we believe they have the potential to excel at the international level.”

Erasmus elaborated on the importance of integrating new talent: “We closely monitored their performances, presented our plans at the alignment camps, and got to know them personally. We’re impressed by their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn.”

Due to player availability, Erasmus anticipates some Test debuts in the Wales match. Even for those who don’t make the final cut, this camp experience will be invaluable in preparing for the season and building towards the 2027 World Cup in Australia.

“The past few years leading up to the 2023 World Cup highlighted the value of giving players a chance to prove themselves,” Erasmus added. “Some debutants from that time lifted the trophy in Paris, and we believe this blooding of new talent is crucial for our future.”

“We have a core of young players with Test experience who understand our team’s operations and expectations. We’re confident this approach will continue to strengthen our squad depth in the coming years. While some unlucky players missed out this time, the door remains open for them if needed.”

Injuries ruled out Steven Kitshoff, Lood de Jager, and Jaden Hendrikse from selection.

The Wales Test is followed by the Castle Lager Incoming Series featuring back-to-back Tests against Ireland (ranked second) in Pretoria and Durban, respectively (on 6 July and 13th). A historic first Test against Portugal in Bloemfontein follows on 20 July.

The Springboks will then focus on the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, facing Australia in Brisbane and Perth (10 and 17 August) before back-to-back home Tests against New Zealand in Johannesburg and Cape Town ( 31 August and 7 September). They then travel to Argentina for Tests in Santiago ( 21 September) and Nelspruit (28 September).

The year concludes with the traditional end-of-year tour, featuring Tests against Scotland in Edinburgh (November 9th), England in London (16 November), and Wales in Cardiff ( 23 November).

Springbok training squad (in alphabetical order):

Forwards: Phepsi Buthelezi (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Joseph Dweba, Ben-Jason Dixon (both DHL Stormers), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz), Eben Etzebeth (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Neethling Fouche (DHL Stormers), Vincent Koch (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers), Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears), Bongi Mbonambi (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Ntuthuko Mchunu (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Salmaan Moerat (DHL Stormers), Franco Mostert (Honda Heat), Ox Nche (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Evan Roos (DHL Stormers), Kwagga Smith (Blu Revs), Andre-Hugo Venter (DHL Stormers), Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers).

Backs: Damian de Allende (Panasonic Wild Knights), Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles), Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins), Aphelele Fassi (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Jordan Hendrikse (Emirates Lions), Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (DHL Stormers), Ethan Hooker (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Quan Horn (Emirates Lions), Cheslin Kolbe (Suntory Sungoliath) Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles), Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers), Makazole Mapimpi, Siya Masuku (both Hollywoodbets Sharks), Handre Pollard (Leicester Tigers), Morne van den Berg (Emirates Lions), Edwill van der Merwe (Emirates Lions), Grant Williams (Hollywoodbets Sharks).

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