The Springbok squad for the 2022 international season was named on Saturday night, featuring a number of surprises in the form of selections and omissions for the coming season.
Big names such as Duane Vermeulen and Frans Steyn were missing from the squad, as well as players such as Cobus Reinach, Sbu Nkosi, and RG Snyman who have all been involved in recent Bok squads.
Vermeulen has reportedly decided to undergo knee surgery now, rather than leaving it and potentially risking not being available for next year’s World Cup, and could be included later in the season should he make a recovery in time.
Steyn, Reinach, Nkosi and Snyman are currently injured and could also be picked at a later date, but in a strange twist the injured Johan Goosen was named in the squad despite not being available for the Welsh series, after he and Reinach both attended the first Bok training camp while doing their rehabilitation.
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Fit players to miss the cut include Marco van Staden and the du Preez twins, Dan and Jean-Luc, after all three were part of last year’s Springbok squad.
Bulls hooker Johan Grobbelaar can also count himself extremely unlucky to miss out, having enjoyed a superb season in the United Rugby Championship, while his brilliant man-of-the-match performance in the semifinal win over Leinster shows exactly what the Boks will be missing.
After their European heroics with La Rochelle, Dillyn Leyds and Raymond Rhule were also talked up by a number of pundits, however that has not turned into a recall for either.
Celebration for form players
It was a celebration for form players in the URC however who were fully rewarded by the Springbok management.
Uncapped players Evan Roos, Elrigh Louw, Deon Fourie, Ruan Nortje, Kurt-Lee Arendse and Ntuthuko Mchunu all enjoyed top campaigns and were duly called up.
Marcell Coetzee and Warrick Gelant were also very welcomed recalls having played immense parts in their sides URC success this season.
Andre Esterhuizen also earned himself a well deserved recall after a brilliant season for Harlequins that saw him named as the Players Player of the Season in the English Premiership.
Springbok squad for International season:
Thomas du Toit (Sharks), Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), Vincent Koch (Saracens), Frans Malherbe (Stormers), Ntuthuko Mchunu (Sharks), Ox Nche (Sharks), Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92)
Joseph Dweba (Bordeaux), Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears), Bongi Mbonambi (Sharks),
Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks), Eben Etzebeth (Sharks), Salmaan Moerat (Stormers), Ruan Nortje (Bulls), Marvin Orie (Stormers)
Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz), Marcell Coetzee (Bulls), Siya Kolisi (Sharks), Elrigh Louw (Bulls), Evan Roos (Stormers), Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Júbilo), Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers)
Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse), Deon Fourie (Stormers), Franco Mostert (Honda Heat)
Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks), Jaden Hendrikse (Sharks), Herschel Jantjies (Stormers), Grant Williams (Sharks)
Johan Goosen (Bulls), Elton Jantjies (NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes), Handre Pollard (Montpellier Herrault),
Lukhanyo Am (Sharks), Damian de Allende (Munster), Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins), Jesse Kriel (Cannon Eagles)
Aphelele Fassi (Sharks), Warrick Gelant (Stormers), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulon), Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz), Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks)
Kurt-Lee Arendse (Bulls), Damian Willemse (Stormers)