Cape Town - There are eight players of colour in the Springboks’ 23-man squad for Saturday’s series opener against France in Pretoria.
While it will forever divide opinion, the fact remains that the Boks have a mandate to feature at least 50% players of colour at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Eight players of colour in the squad equates to 35%.
On Thursday, Coetzee picked Raymond Rhule, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Oupa Mohoje, Siya Kolisi and Tendai Mtawarira as players of colour in his starting team, along with Bongi Mbonambi and Dillyn Leyds on the bench.
Interestingly, this time exactly a year ago in his very first squad for the first Test against Ireland at Newlands, Coetzee picked nine players of colour in his match-day squad (39%) - five started, while four featured on the bench.
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Dillyn Leyds
15 Brice Dulin, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Gaël Fickou, 11 Virimi Vakatawa, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Loann Goujon, 6 Yacouba Camara, 5 Yoann Maestri (captain), 4 Julien le Devedec, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Clément Maynadier, 1 Jefferson Poirot
Substitutes: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Eddy Ben Arous, 18 Mohamed Boughanmi, 19 Bernard le Roux, 20 Kévin Gourdon, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Jean-Marc Doussain, 23 Vincent Rattez