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RWC: SA-born 'XV' not playing for the Boks

2015-09-15 14:05
Josh Strauss (Getty Images)

Cape Town - The Springboks won’t be the only team at this year’s Rugby World Cup with South African connections.

Sport24’s Herman Mostert takes a look at the 15 South African-born players who will feature for their adopted nations at the showpiece event in England and Wales.


Rory Kockott (scrumhalf)

The feisty scrumhalf, who many feel was unlucky to never become a Springbok, left the Lions to join Castres Olympique in 2011. He became eligible to represent France in 2014 and has since notched nine Test caps.

Scott Spedding (fullback)

The Bayonne fullback was a promising junior prospect in South Africa and was on the Sharks’ books between 2005 and 2008.

After seven years of living in France, Spedding acquired French citizenship in 2014 and made his Test debut that same year, since representing Les Blues in 10 Tests.

Bernard le Roux (flank)

The former Boland loose forward joined Racing Metro in 2009 and has played 18 Tests for France since making his debut in 2012.


Josh Strauss (No 8)

The bearded former Lions captain left South Africa in 2012 to join Glasgow Warriors. He will qualify to represent Scotland on residential grounds on September 19, a day after the Rugby World Cup begins.

WP Nel (prop)

The former Cheetahs front ranker joined Edinburgh in 2012 and has played three Tests for Scotland this year.


Brad Barritt (centre)

The former Sharks centre has played 23 Tests for England since making his debut in 2012. He joined English club Saracens at the end of 2008.


Richardt Strauss (hooker)

The ex-Free Stater joined Leinster in 2009 and made his Ireland debut in 2012, claiming 10 Test caps thus far.


Kotaro Matsushima (utility back)

Matsushima was born in South Africa, but finished his schooling at Toin Gakuen High School in Yokohama. He returned to South Africa in 2012, enrolling at the Sharks Academy in Durban, becoming the first Japanese player to do so.

The 22-year-old currently plays for Japanese Top League side Suntory Sungoliath and has 12 Test caps to his name.


Dario Chistolini (prop)

The 26-year-old plays for Italian club Zebre, having previously represented Gloucester in England and Petrarca in Italy.

He was born in Kempton Park but became eligible for Italy via his father and now boasts 11 caps for Italy.

Quintin Geldenhuys (lock)

Geldenhuys, who was schooled at Monument High School in Krugersdorp, also plays for Zebre and is a regular in the Italian tight five, having notched 57 caps since making his debut in 2009.


Niku Kruger (scrumhalf)

The 23-year-old was born in Pretoria and made his Test debut against Canada last month. He qualified for the American team through residency and plays for Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.


DTH van der Merwe (wing)

The 29-year-old was born in Worcester in the Western Cape. He made his debut for Canada in 2006 and has since played 35 Tests for his adopted country. He signed for Welsh club Scarlets earlier this year, having spent six years at Scottish club, Glasgow Warriors.


Johannes van Heerden (lock)

The 1.96m, 118kg giant plays for the Baia Mare club in Romania. He played for Tuks between 2007 and 2012 and also represented the Pumas and Griffons.


This is a tricky one, considering the fact that Namibia, or South-West Africa as it was previously known, was under South African rule until independence in 1990.

Renaldo Bothma (flank)

He impressed for the Sharks in Super Rugby this year and has also signed a deal with Japanese club, Toyota Verblitz. He boasts seven caps for Namibia.

Heinrich Smit (wing)

The Johannesburg-born flyer has played 12 Tests for Namibia since making his debut in 2013.

Note: Chrysander Botha and Conrad Marais were born in Walvis Bay, which remained under South African control until 1994.

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