Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has announced a squad of 43 players for the season that features the Incoming Series against Wales next month and the Rugby Championship and year-end tour later in the year.
In the squad, which has a number of surprises, Nienaber included eight uncapped players who were rewarded for performances but there is no place for veterans Duane Vermeulen and Frans Steyn.
A notable inclusion is that of Marcel Coetzee who has led the Bulls to a United Rugby Championship (URC) final against the Stormers in Cape Town next weekend.
The uncapped players are No 8 Evan Roos (Stormers), flank Elrigh Louw (Bulls), locks Ruan Nortje (Bulls) and Salmaan Moerat (Stormers), utility forward Deon Fourie (Stormers), fullback Kurt-Lee Arendse (Bulls), scrumhalf Grant Williams and prop Ntuthuko Mchunu (both Sharks).
A squad of 17 players gathered in Pretoria for the opening week of the team’s preparation camp last week, featuring a number of Sharks and Japanese-based players.
With the Bulls and Stormers advancing to the final of the United Rugby Championship (URC) next week, Nienaber called up Roos, Fourie, Warrick Gelant (fullback) who makes a return to the national set-up for the first time since the 2src19 Rugby World Cup.
Moerat and Marvin Orie (both locks), Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe (both props), Herschel Jantjies (scrumhalf) and Damian Willemse (utility back) from the Cape-based franchise, while Coetzee, Louw, Nortje and Arendse join from the Bulls.
Nienaber’s squad also includes a group of older hands in Eben Etzebeth (Sharks), Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks), Pieter
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