Rassie’s Rugby Championship squad announced

Rassie Erasmus

Rassie has selected three uncapped players for the Rugby Championship later this month. SA under-20 flyhalf Damian Willemse, Lions loose forward Cyle Brink and Bulls loose forward Marco Van Staden.

The Lions quartet featuring Malcolm Marx (hooker), Warren Whitley (No 8), Ross Cronje (Scrumhalf) and Lionel Mapoe (Centre) have all been selected. Eben Etzebeth has recovered from the injury that saw him miss the June tests and will be joining the squad.

“Eben and Warren have been out of the Bok mix for a while because of injury so it’s very pleasing to have them back in the squad, while Malcolm has regained his good form with the Lions since recovering from his injury,” said Erasmus

Rassie made mention of the impact players like Willie le Roux and Faf de Klerk made in the June internationals and that Siya Kolisi will retain his captaincy, these three players make a vital contribution among the 15 backs chosen.

The majority of the players have already started their training in Stellenbosch with the Lions players set to join on Wednesday. (The Lions players have been away in New Zealand for their Super Rugby match against the Crusaders). The squad is set to continue training until Friday and will then take a two day break before they reassemble in Durban and start preparations for their first Super Rugby clash. The Rugby Championship opener will be on 18 August at Kings Park where the Springboks take on Argentina.

Full Springbok squad: (Name, position, franchise, test caps and points)

Forwards (20)

Cyle Brink (Loose forward, Lions, uncapped)

Jean-Luc du Preez (Loose forward, Sharks, 13, 10 – 2t)

Thomas du Toit (Prop, Sharks, 4, 0)

Pieter-Steph du Toit (Lock / Loose forward, Stormers, 36, 20 – 4t)

Eben Etzebeth (Lock, Stormers, 67, 15 – 3t)

Steven Kitshoff (Prop, Stormers, 27, 5 – 1t)

Siya Kolisi (captain – Loose forward, Stormers, 31, 20 – 4t)

Francois Louw (Loose forward, Bath, England, 57, 45 – 9t)

Wilco Louw (Prop, Stormers, 7, 0)

Frans Malherbe (Prop, Stormers, 19, 0)

Malcolm Marx (Hooker, Lions, 14, 15 – 3t)

Bongi Mbonambi (Hooker, Stormers, 16, 5 – 1t)

Franco Mostert (Lock, Lions, 21, 5 – 1t)

Tendai Mtawarira (Prop, Sharks, 101, 10 – 2t)

Sikhumbuzo Notshe (Loose forward, Stormers, 4, 0)

Marvin Orie (Lock, Lions, 1, 0)

RG Snyman (Lock, Bulls, 3, 0)

Akker van der Merwe (Hooker, Sharks, 3, 0)

Marco van Staden (Loose forward, Bulls, uncapped)

Warren Whiteley (No 8, Lions, 17, 15 – 3t)

Backs (15)

Lukhanyo Am (Centre, Sharks, 3, 0)

Ross Cronjé (Scrumhalf, Lions, 10, 10 – 2t)

Faf de Klerk (Scrumhalf, Sale Sharks, England, 14, 5 – 1t)

Aphiwe Dyantyi (Wing, Lions, 3, 5 – 1t)

André Esterhuizen (Centre, Sharks, 2, 0)

Elton Jantjies (Flyhalf, Lions, 26, 215 – 2t, 41c, 41p)

Jesse Kriel (Centre, Bulls, 32, 45 – 9t)

Willie le Roux (Fullback, Wasps, England, 44, 55 – 11t)

Makazole Mapimpi (Wing, Sharks, 1, 5 – 1t)

Lionel Mapoe (Centre, Lions, 12, 0)

Lwazi Mvovo (Wing, Sharks, 17, 30 – 6t)

Embrose Papier (Scrumhalf, Bulls, 2, 0)

Handré Pollard (Flyhalf, Bulls, 29, 246 – 3t, 42c, 46p, 3d)

Ivan van Zyl (Scrumhalf, Bulls, 3, 0)

Damian Willemse (Flyhalf, Stormers, uncapped)

Players who were not considered because of injury include Damian de Allende (Stormers), Warrick Gelant, Lood de Jager, Trevor Nyakane (all Bulls), Coenie Oosthuizen and Sbu Nkosi (both Sharks).