Sport / Rugby

Ross Roche
Senior sports writer
2 minute read
19 Oct 2021
3:12 pm

‘We’re continuously growing our depth,’ says Nienaber about Bok squad

Ross Roche

Salmaan Moerat and Grant Williams are the only uncapped players in the group for the tour of the UK next month.

Springbok coach, Jacques Nienaber says he'll continue to blood younger players, but that consistency in selection is just as important. Picture: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

Despite naming a very similar squad to the one that did business in the Lions series and Rugby Championship, Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber believes they have chosen a youthful side that is now building towards the 2023 World Cup.

Just one new player has come into the mix, Stormers lock Salmaan Moerat, with injuries to Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg and RG Snyman opening the door for him, while scrumhalf Grant Williams who was with the Rugby Championship squad is the only other uncapped player.

Usually end of year tours see a number of new faces brought in and given valuable game time, with Stormers duo Evan Roos and Warrick Gelant probably unlucky to miss out, but Nienaber stressed the need for consistency in selection as well as bringing in new players.

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“I think we have been building this squad since 2018. Rassie (Erasmus) started it back then, so we have been constantly building this squad,” explained Nienaber.

“If you look at the squad we have selected there are some young players coming in almost at every tier. If you look at the props you have Ox Nche as a younger player coming into the mix, at hooker Joseph Dweba, second row Salmaan Moerat, in the back row we have Jasper Wiese. So I think we are continuously breeding younger players.

“I would say at flyhalf we didn’t do that, but in the back three we have Aphelele Fassi getting into the mix, so I think if you look at our squad you will see we have our eye on consistency in terms of the players that we have selected.

 “It is a consistent and experienced squad and that’s something we will need going into the World Cup 2023. We are fortunate that our squad is quite young, the average age is 28, so although we have a very experienced squad they are fairly young.”

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The South African based players in the squad will meet up and head off to France this weekend, where they will spend a week taking part in a training camp and take part in a few World Cup 2023 events, before the full squad will join together in Wales at the end of the month.

“The overseas based players will be available to us once the international window opens on 31 October,” said Nienaber.

“The international players who are playing for their clubs will not be available for the first week that we are in France but everyone else will be available.”