Rugby Championship

Rassie picks Blitzbok star, UK-based prop for Bok squad

2018-09-23 12:11
Ruhan Nel (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Uncapped Blitzbok star Ruhan Nel, Vincent Koch (prop), Sbu Nkosi (wing), Lionel Mapoe (centre) and Ivan van Zyl (scrumhalf) have been added to the Springbok squad for their final two Rugby Championship home matches against the Wallabies and the All Blacks.

They will join the 17 players already in camp in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

The Springboks face the Wallabies next Saturday, September 29 in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. They conclude the Rugby Championship with a return fixture against the All Blacks at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria a week later.

Nel, who plays outside centre for the Western Province in the Currie Cup, is included among the backs alongside Mapoe. Nkosi has recovered from the ankle injury that prevented him from playing in any Rugby Championship matches so far this year.

Front-ranker Koch is currently starring for Saracens in England.

Meanwhile, Trevor Nyakane (prop, Blue Bulls) will continue with his conditioning programme under the supervision of the Springbok conditioning and medical staff over the next two weeks.

Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby, said he was excited to welcome back players such as Van Zyl, Mapoe and Nkosi, and to work with Nel and Koch.

“Ruhan comes with a lot of international experience with the Blitzboks and he has performed consistently well for WP, so it will be good to see how he operates in the Bok environment,” said Erasmus.

“Trevor and Sbu have been part of the squad earlier in the year and it’s good to welcome them back, while the players who featured for their provinces in recent weeks all got some valuable game time.”

The Springbok squad for the Rugby Championship home leg against the Wallabies and All Blacks (in alphabetical order - name and surname, position, franchise/club, Test caps and points):

Forwards (16):

Schalk Brits (Hooker, Unattached), 11, 5 - 1t

Pieter-Steph du Toit (Lock/ loose forward, Western Province), 40, 20 - 4t

Eben Etzebeth (Lock, Western Province), 71, 15 - 3t

Steven Kitshoff (Prop, Western Province), 31, 5 - 1t

Vincent Koch (Prop, Saracens, England), 9, 0

Siya Kolisi (Captain, Flank, Western Province), 35, 25 - 5t

Wilco Louw (Prop, Western Province), 10, 0

Frans Malherbe (Prop, Western Province), 23, 0

Malcolm Marx (Hooker, Lions), 18, 20 - 4t

Bongi Mbonambi (Hooker, Western Province), 20, 10 - 2t

Franco Mostert (Lock, Golden Lions), 24, 5 - 1t

Tendai Mtawarira (Prop, Sharks), 105, 10 - 2t

Sikhumbuzo Notshe (No 8, Western Province), 4, 0

RG Snyman (Lock, Blue Bulls), 6, 0

Marco van Staden (Flank, Blue Bulls), 1, 0

Warren Whiteley (No 8, Golden Lions), 21, 15 - 3t

Backs (14):

Faf de Klerk (Scrumhalf, Sale Sharks, England), 18, 10 - 2t

Aphiwe Dyantyi (Wing, Golden Lions), 7, 25 - 5t

André Esterhuizen (Centre, Sharks), 4, 0

Elton Jantjies (Flyhalf, Golden Lions), 28, 223 - 2t, 42c, 43p

Willie le Roux (Fullback, Wasps, England), 48, 60 – 12t

Cheslin Kolbe (Utility back, Toulouse, France), 2, 5 - 1t

Jesse Kriel (Centre, Blue Bulls), 34, 45 - 9t

Lionel Mapoe (Centre, Golden Lions), 14, 10 - 2t

Ruhan Nel (Centre, Western Province), uncapped

Sibusiso Nkosi (Wing, Sharks), 3, 10 - 2t

Embrose Papier (Scrumhalf, Blue Bulls), 3, 0

Handré Pollard (Flyhalf, Blue Bulls), 33, 265 - 3t, 50c, 47p, 3d

Ivan van Zyl (Scrumhalf, Blue Bulls), 3, 0

Damian Willemse (Flyhalf, Western Province), 2, 0

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