Springbok Squad Named for 2017 End of Year Tour to Europe

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Springbok coach Alister Coetzee (R) during the Rugby Championship match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the South African Springboks at QBE Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

The Springbok squad named for the 2017 end of year tour to Europe was named by Head Coach Allister Coetzee.

Springbok Squad Named

There were no real surprises, with some good selections noted as well as some very lucky tourists. There are also a few players who could consider themselves unlucky not to be packing their bags to be part of the touring party.

This tour is going to be very important for this group. As we noted last week, there is a lot of good happening within the Springbok camp but more winning results are a must for this tour. Below, we take a quick look at some of the most notable selections or exclusions.

The Good Selections

Lukhanyo Am, Dan du Preez and Warrick Gelant are great additions to this squad. All have been in superb form throughout Super Rugby and the Currie Cup. Am and Gelant, if given the opportunity, will give the Springbok backline an added dimension on the attack. With Serfontein’s decision to make himself unavailable for selection to settle in with his new French club, Montpellier, Am has made a big step forward to earning his first Springbok cap. Du Preez would also add a lot of grunt to the pack if selected.

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The Unlucky Ones

Three players who would consider themselves a little unlucky not to be selected are wing Makazole Mapimpi, prop Thomas du Toit and fly half Robert du Preez. Mapimpi has shown a great finishing ability. He has also been very eager to put his hand up in the defensive stakes. He certainly does warrant being tested at the highest level. Du Toit is very young for a prop, but is fast developing as a very strong scrummager. The real problem he faces a this stage is that he plays behind Tendai Mtawarira and Steven Kitshoff.

Du Preez is also showing a lot of promise at fly half. His willingness to use his strength to attack the advantage line as well as some sound decision making makes him a hot prospect going forward. As with Du Toit, it his where he stands in the current pecking order that has worked against him. Ahead of him are the two current incumbents, Elton Jantjes and Handre Pollard, as well as flyhalf cum fullback Curwin Bosch. Bosch certainly does not fall into the group that could be considered as lucky tourists, but the need to hide him away on defense is far from ideal.

The Very Lucky Ones

The two players who are lucky to be packing their bags at the moment are surely Raymond Rhule and Uzair Cassiem. Rhule’s defensive record is nothing short of appalling and he is a defensive liability. This became evident during Super Rugby and has only been amplified in international rugby.

Cassiem is a solid journeyman rugby player and plays his heart out every time he is given the opportunity but is not of international class. The problem is that he has played mostly as a blindside flanker. Sadly, he does not fit the bill for a modern blindside flank at international level. He does not offer the ball carrying ability, nor an option in the lineout.
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The Injury List

The injury list is not extensive, but there are some significant players not making the trip due to injury:

Warren Whiteley (No 8), Jaco Kriel (flank), Frans Malherbe (prop), Sbu Nkosi (wing), Ruan Combrinck (wing). Jean-Luc du Preez might be added to this list after an ankle injury during the Currie Cup final on Saturday.

The Itinerary

11 November vs Ireland in Dublin

18 November vs France in Paris

25 November vs Italy in Padova

2 December vs Wales in Cardiff

The Squad

Forwards (in alphabetical order)

Uzair Cassiem (flank, 26 years, Toyota Free State Cheetahs), 6 caps, 5 points (1 try)

Lood de Jager (lock, 25 years, Vodacom Blue Bulls), 32 caps, 20 points (4 tries)

Ruan Dreyer (prop, 26 years, Xerox Golden Lions), 4 caps, 5 points (1 try)

Dan du Preez (No 8, 22 years, Cell C Sharks), 0 caps, 0 points

Jean-Luc du Preez (loose forward, 22 years, Cell C Sharks), 10 caps, 10 points (2 tries)

Pieter-Steph du Toit (lock/flank, 25 years, DHL Western Province), 29 caps, 20 points (4 tries)

Eben Etzebeth (lock, 26 years, DHL Western Province), 63 caps, 15 points (3 tries)

Steven Kitshoff (prop 25 years, DHL Western Province), 19 caps, 0 points

Siya Kolisi (flank, 26 years, DHL Western Province), 25 caps, 20 points (4 tries)

Francois Louw (loose forward, 32 years, Bath, England), 54 caps, 40 points (8 tries)

Wilco Louw (prop, 23 years, DHL Western Province), 1 cap, 0 points

Malcolm Marx (hooker, 23 years, Xerox Golden Lions), 11 caps, 15 points (3 tries)

Bongi Mbonambi (hooker, 27 years, DHL Western Province), 11 caps, 0 points

Oupa Mohojé (flank, 27 years, Toyota Free State Cheetahs), 17 caps, 0 points

Franco Mostert (lock, 26 years, Emirates Lions/Ricoh Black Rams, Japan), 15 caps, 0 points

Tendai Mtawarira (prop, 32 years, Cell C Sharks), 95 caps, 10 points (2 tries)

Trevor Nyakane (prop, 28 years, Vodacom Blue Bulls), 34 caps, 5 points (1 try)

Coenie Oosthuizen (prop, 28 years, Cell C Sharks), 29 caps, 20 points (4 tries)

Chiliboy Ralepelle (hooker, 31 years, Cell C Sharks), 22 caps, 5 points (1 try)

Backs

Lukhanyo Am (centre, 23 years, Cell C Sharks), 0 caps, o points

Curwin Bosch (flyhalf, 20 years, Cell C Sharks), 1 cap, 0 points

Andries Coetzee (fullback, 26 years, Xerox Golden Lions), 9 caps, 0 points

Ross Cronjé (scrumhalf, 27 years, Xerox Golden Lions), 6 caps, 10 points (2 tries)

Damian de Allende (centre, 27 years, DHL Western Province), 27 caps, 15 points (3 tries)

Warrick Gelant (fullback, 22 years, Vodacom Blue Bulls), 0 caps, 0 points

Elton Jantjies (flyhalf, 27 years, Emirates Lions/ NTT Shining Arcs, Japan), 20 caps, 198 points (2 tries, 37 conversions, 38 penalties)

Jesse Kriel (centre, 23 years, Vodacom Blue Bulls), 25 caps, 30 points (6 tries)

Dillyn Leyds (wing, 25 years, DHL Western Province), 5 caps, 0 points

Rudy Paige (scrumhalf, 28 years, Vodacom Blue Bulls), 11 caps, 5 points (1 try)

Handré Pollard (flyhalf, 23 years, Vodacom Blue Bulls), 22 caps, 190 points (2 tries, 30 conversions, 37 penalties, 3 drop goals)

Raymond Rhule (wing, 24 years, Toyota Free State Cheetahs), 7 caps, 5 points (1 try)

Louis Schreuder (scrumhalf, 27 years, Cell C Sharks), 0 caps, 0 points

Courtnall Skosan (wing, 26 years, Xerox Golden Lions), 9 caps, 10 points (2 tries)

Francois Venter (centre, 26 years, Toyota Free State Cheetahs), 3 caps, 0 points

*Squad information courtesy SA Rugby

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