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    Ackermann: I'd pick Mapoe for RWC

    2015-04-28 16:00

    Cape Town - Lions coach Johan Ackermann says centre Lionel Mapoe would be a valuable asset to the Springboks at the Rugby World Cup later this year.

    The midfielder has been on song for the Lions in Super Rugby this year and his form has been recognised by Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, who included him in both Bok training squads named over the weekend.

    Ackermann spoke to Netwerk24 after his side’s 34-29 Super Rugby win over the Cheetahs in Johannesburg last Saturday.

    “If you’re looking for an outside centre with X-factor, then Lionel is definitely your man,” said Ackermann.

    “In terms of enterprise, you don’t need to look any further than him and Juan de Jongh (Stormers centre) as your candidates for the No 13 jersey. Lionel’s performances in this (2015) Super Rugby competition have been outstanding and it’s notable how hard he’s worked on his conditioning.

    “If I was the Springbok coach, then I would take him along to the World Cup. One of Lionel’s strong points is his versatility. Nowadays, he’s an established outside centre, but is equally comfortable on the wing. In fact, I think you could even use him as an inside centre if need be.”

    The 2015 Rugby World Cup, to be staged in England and Wales, runs from September 18 to October 31.

    The Springbok training squads (44 each):

    Johannesburg camp (Sharks on tour) - May 3-6:

    Forwards (26): Arno Botha, Ruan Botha, Heinrich Brussow, Schalk Burger, Nizaam Carr, Robbie Coetzee, Lood de Jager, Jacques du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Dean Greyling, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Siya Kolisi, Lappies Labuschagne, Frans Malherbe, Victor Matfield, Teboho Mohoje, Trevor Nyakane, Scarra Ntubeni, Coenie Oosthuizen, Pierre Spies, Adriaan Strauss, Marcel van der Merwe, Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley

    Backs (18): Bjorn Basson, Demetri Catrakilis, Damian de Allende, Juan de Jongh, Faf de Klerk, Jean de Villiers, Cornal Hendricks, Francois Hougaard, Elton Jantjies, Jesse Kriel, Pat Lambie, Willie le Roux, Lionel Mapoe, Rudy Paige, Handre Pollard, Jan Serfontein, Kobus van Wyk, Francois Venter

    Cape Town camp (Bulls on tour) - May 31-June 3:

    Forwards (27): Willem Alberts, Ruan Botha, Heinrich Brussow, Schalk Burger, Nizaam Carr, Marcell Coetzee, Robbie Coetzee, Lood de Jager, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jean Deysel, Eben Etzebeth, Lizo Gqoboka, Ryan Kankowski, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Siya Kolisi, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Teboho Mohoje, Tendai Mtawarira, Scarra Ntubeni, Coenie Oosthuizen, Michael Rhodes, Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley

    Backs (17): Demetri Catrakilis, Damian de Allende, Juan de Jongh, Faf de Klerk, Jean de Villiers, Nic Groom, Cornal Hendricks, Elton Jantjies, Cheslin Kolbe, Pat Lambie, Willie le Roux, Lionel Mapoe, Lwazi Mvovo, JP Pietersen, Cobus Reinach, Kobus van Wyk, Francois Venter

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