Nienaber names mixture of youth and experience in RWC squad

todayAugust 8, 2023 53 1

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Springbok coach, Jacques Nienaber, named 21 players with Rugby World Cup experience when he revealed the defending champion’s squad of 33 players for the 2023 edition in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Nienaber’s squad features a mix of experience and youth in the country, while there was disappointment for three of the starting XV from the 32-12 victory over England in Japan four years ago, who were ruled out by injury and illness.

Flyhalf Handre Pollard (calf), Lukhanyo Am (knee) and Lood de Jager (chest problem) have been placed on standby with six other players. The Springbok coaches were hopeful that they may return to full training before the start of the tournament and be available for call-up in the event of injury.

Meanwhile, props Frans Malherbe and Trevor Nyakane, lock Eben Etzebeth, loose forwards Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi, Duane Vermeulen, centres Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel and fullback Willie le Roux will feature in their third World Cup tournaments.

Also returning from 2019 are Steven Kitshoff and Vincent Koch, Bongi Mbonambi and Malcolm Marx, RG Snyman, Kwagga Smith, Franco Mostert, Faf de Klerk and Cobus Reinach, Damian Willemse , Cheslin Kolbe and Makazole Mapimpi.

Making their first appearance at a Rugby World Cup are Ox Nche, Jean Kleyn and Marvin Orie, Marco van Staden and Jasper Wiese, Deon Fourie, Jaden Hendrikse and Grant Williams, Manie Libbok, Andre Esterhuizen, Kurt-Lee Arendse and Canan Moodie.

Springbok Rugby World Cup squad:


Props: Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Frans Malherbe, Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane.

Hookers: Bongi Mbonambi, Malcolm Marx.

Locks: Eben Etzebeth, Jean Kleyn, Marvin Orie, RG Snyman.

Loose Forwards: Pieter-Steph du Toit , Siya Kolisi, Kwagga Smith, Marco van Staden, Duane Vermeulen, Jasper Wiese.

Utility Forwards: Deon Fourie, Franco Mostert.


Scrumhalves: Faf de Klerk, Jaden Hendrikse, Cobus Reinach, Grant Williams.

Flyhalves: Manie Libbok, Damian Willemse.

Centres: Damian de Allende, Andre Esterhuizen, Jesse Kriel.

Outside Backs: Kurt-Lee Arendse, Cheslin Kolbe, Willie le Roux, Makazole Mapimpi, Canan Moodie. Article by Ntsako Mkhari

Written by: Lindiwe Mabena

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