Cape Town- It was with great excitement and expectation that the first Springbok squad was named at DHL Newlands on Saturday. Reports Piet Lategan.
New coach, Allister Coetzee, rewarded form and consistency throughout the extremely tough and strenuous Super Rugby campaign and his squad of 31 players include nine new caps.
Coetzee picked seven players of the Lions, rewarding them for their extremely consistent and very good performances. He also picked three players that ply their trade at overseas clubs in eighthman, Duane Vermeulen, openside flanker, Francois Louw and debutant and loosehead prop, Steven Kitshoff. With that sending out a strong message to the 54 Boks that play overseas that it will be better to play in South Africa if you want to be selected for the Springboks in future.
Coetzee did not name a captain as yet stating that: “he wants to talk to the players in the squad first”. However, it is said to be between Vermeulen and eighthman, Warren Whiteley, for the Springbok captaincy with Vermeulen being the early favourite with my money being on Whiteley for the sake of continuity as well as the high regard from all the players for Whiteley.
South Africa squad to face Ireland:
Forwards: Lood de Jager, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Steven Kitshoff, Siya Kolisi, Jaco Kriel, Francois Louw, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Tendai Mtawarira, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Scarra Ntubeni, Trevor Nyakane, Julian Redelinghuys, Adriaan Strauss, Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley
Backs: Garth April, Ruan Combrinck, Damian de Allende, Faf de Klerk, Nic Groom, Elton Jantjies, Jesse Kriel, Patrick Lambie, Willie le Roux, Lionel Mapoe, Lwazi Mvovo, Rudy Paige, JP Pietersen, Jan Serfontein