Rugby

New era Springboks as Rassie Erasmus calls up 16 uncapped players for alignment camp

As the Springboks assemble for the first time since winning the Rugby World Cup in 2023, head coach Rassie Erasmus has extended an invitation to 43 players for his inaugural alignment camp.

There are four stars from Japan who are undergoing rehabilitation in South Africa along with 39 local players.

During the first week of March, the team will get together in Cape Town for two days of boardroom meetings.

First Springboks squad of 2024

The Springboks’ preparations for the forthcoming two-Test series against Ireland in July, as well as their one-off encounter against Portugal and the Rugby Championship, will be intensified with Erasmus’ first alignment camp.

The head coach has selected 19 players from the 2023 World Cup roster, 16 players without caps, and 27 international caps, bringing a mix of youth and experience to the team.

The team will also get to know the new coaching staff, which includes former Springbok forward Duane Vermeulen, Tony Brown, Jerry Flannery, and Jaco Peyper, during the camp.

“We are excited to meet the new coaching team in person for the first time and to have the chance to introduce the invited players to our strong structures, Springbok culture, and way of doing things,” Erasmus stated.

“We think that by focusing on getting everyone on the same page for the 2024 season, this camp will set a solid basis for our future success.

“We are thrilled to see Jerry Flannery and Tony Brown, along with our other coaching staff, put the right steps into action as we prepare for the challenging season ahead. They will play crucial roles in this coaching team.”

Rassie Erasmus was aware. Siya Kolisi, the captain of the Springboks, would “struggle.”

New faces and experienced campaigners

Foreign-based Due to club obligations, the Springboks are naturally unable to attend the camps. However, there are some noticeable local absences, including as the in-form scrum-half for the Bulls Embrose Papier and the eighth-ranked Stormers player Hacjivah Dayimani.

Some of the players in this group have previously represented the SA “A” team, which played Munster and the Bristol Bears in November 2022. “This bunch of players includes several individuals who have been part of our structures in the last six years, and their experience and familiarity with the way we do things at the Springboks, will be invaluable in guiding the younger players,” Erasmus continued.

“We are thrilled to see these new players get this opportunity and get a real sense of what is expected of them at the highest level. They have proven their worth at the provincial level.”

Before the next Test season, there will be three Springbok camps, the first of which is being held now.

Nigel Owens: Jaco Peyper’s “crucial” addition to the Springboks

The 43-player Springboks alignment camp squad

*Eben Etzebeth, Neethling Fouche, Johan Grobbelaar, Celimpilo Gumede, Cameron Hanekom, Andre-Hugo Venter, Vincent Koch, Elrigh Louw, Wilco Louw, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Malcolm Marx, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Salmaan Moerat, Ox Nche, Ruan Nortje, Evan Roos, Kwagga Smith, Gerhard Steenekamp, Marnus van der Merwe, Ruben van Heerden, Marco van Staden, Ruan Venter, Jan-Hendrik Wessels*

Lukhanyo Am, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Faf de Klerk, Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu*, Suleiman Hartzenberg*, Jaden Hendrikse, Jordan Hendrikse*, Quan Horn*, Herschel Jantjies, Jesse Kriel, Willie le Roux, Manie Libbok, Makazole Mapimpi, Canan Moodie, Sanele Nohamba*, Morne van den Berg*, Henco van Wyk*, Grant Williams, Damian Willemse

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