13 players added to Springbok training camp in Pretoria

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Jun 28, 2019, 17:30

Cape Town - Duane Vermeulen, Handre Pollard (both Bulls), Lukhanyo Am, Sibusiso Nkosi (both Sharks) and Francois Louw (Bath) are among a group of 13 players who have been added to the Springbok training group in Pretoria in preparation of the upcoming Rugby Championship.

The Bulls and Sharks completed their Super Rugby commitments last weekend, meaning their invited players can join the current national training group. The squad has been in camp since last weekend, and the attendance will now increase to 39 players.

Ruan Botha (Sharks, foot surgery), Dan du Preez (Sharks, rib fracture), Warren Whiteley (Lions, knee surgery), Damian Willemse (Stormers, knee surgery) and Jan Serfontein (Montpellier, ankle surgery) were not considered for the training camp due to injury.

Rassie Erasmus, the SA Rugby Director of Rugby, said he and the Springbok coaches are very pleased with the amount of work they were able to do with the group during the past week in Pretoria.

“After our series of alignment camps, it was great to get the available group of players together and to get going with our field sessions,” said Erasmus.

“Kwagga Smith has recovered from his hamstring strain and was cleared to return to training, which meant that we were able to have 25 players available for our daily field training sessions. Our captain, Siya Kolisi, is continuing with his rehabilitation and the aim is to have him ready in time for the start of the Rugby Championship.”

The Springboks will kick off their shortened Rugby Championship campaign on Saturday, July 20, against the Wallabies in Johannesburg, which will be followed a week later by the keenly awaited rematch with New Zealand in Wellington - the scene of last year’s epic away-win against the All Blacks.

The Boks will conclude their official campaign against Argentina two weeks later, on Saturday, August 10, in Salta, while the same two teams are set to meet again a week later in Pretoria in a once-off Test before the Boks report for Rugby World Cup training duty.

The Springbok training group now consists of the following players (new additions marked in bold):


Schalk Brits (Bulls), Marcell Coetzee (Ulster, Ireland), Lood de Jager (Bulls), Thomas du Toit (Sharks), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse, France), Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), Lizo Gqoboka (Bulls), Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), Vincent Koch (Saracens, England), Siya Kolisi (Stormers), Francois Louw (Bath), Frans Malherbe (Stormers), Malcolm Marx (Lions), Bongi Mbonambi (Stormers), Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Franco Mostert (Gloucester, England), Trevor Nyakane (Bulls), Marvin Orie (Lions), Kwagga Smith (Lions), RG Snyman (Bulls), Duane Vermeulen (Bulls)


Lukhanyo Am (Sharks), Damian de Allende (Stormers), Andre Esterhuizen (Sharks), Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, England), Aphiwe Dyantyi (Lions), Warrick Gelant (Bulls), Elton Jantjies (Lions), Herschel Jantjies (Stormers), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse, France), Jesse Kriel (Bulls), Dillyn Leyds (Stormers), Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks), Sibusiso Nkosi (Sharks), Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz, Japan), Handre Pollard (Bulls), Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints, England), Frans Steyn (Montpellier, France)

Jun 28, 2019, 18:03

The squad is pretty much as expected, bar a few injured players like Serfontein. Had Serfontein been injured, wonder if Frans Steyn would have still made the squad.

Jun 28, 2019, 20:47

Excellent Flo returns.....so at least we have a fetcher flank in readiness.

Jun 29, 2019, 12:39

Ag Himmel - another passed-it player returns and we hear the continued BS again.

Jun 29, 2019, 12:51

Louw has just turned 34.

I have been a fan of Louw but he has not played at a high level for Boks in recent games. 

Then we have Schalk Britz at 38.

Are these guys still up to it. 

Jun 29, 2019, 16:55

Mike, as long as Flo is not a starter, I've got no problem with him being there...XP is important too.

Jun 29, 2019, 17:18

Francious Louw was poor in the start of the season last year, but improved in the 4 nations and end of the year tour.

When reviewing Louw one should consider: 
1. Establish what the requirement is for a number 6
2. Compare with the current player resources.

Louw is another that may be past his best, but there are not many options as fetchers.  Kolisi is going to be somewhere in the back row, but he is not a fetcher.

Louw was better of the bench that Kolisi was starting, at least from mid-season to end of the season.

Jun 30, 2019, 02:36

Louw will play 8 if he starts, as Kolisi is our starting 6. Rassie tried to play Kolisi elsewhere and it didn't work. I don't know how Louw will fare this season. Honestly, he only had two poor games last year, he was one of our best players in the home All Black test and saved the French test. Kolisi is a big back with no ability to play as a forward. Last year, Kolisi was mostly stationed out wide along with our 13 and another back, adding some muscle in a 2 or 3 man unit. The grunt work up front was done with two main 3 man pods. When he was a first phase pod player, he was a distributor most of the time, but he did make a few good breaks in the seams, especially off lineouts. With what I have seen already, he can very easily replace Damian at 12. 

I've seen a few of Coetzee's games up north. All of his "big" games. He has his moments, but I've seen nothing of interest to suggest that he will improve the Boks. As a carrier he lacks power and pace hitting the line, though he does often run intelligent and clean lines. At the breakdown he has his moments. He often shadows his defenders, refraining from becoming overly involved. I see this as stat padding. Louw is a much better defender and creates turnovers or wins penalties in more congested and contested key rucks. We don't have a pressing need for Coetzee. He can concede some very unnecessary penalties and doesn't have great hands. 

We quite simply do not need Lood. 

Esterhuizen is a very underrated player. He acquitted himself well last year and in this year's Super rugby campaign. 

Jun 30, 2019, 03:00

Jun 30, 2019, 11:16

Esterhuizen is NOT under-rated  he is looked at based on his actual performances.   

Interesting to read the rest of your prejudiced crap.  Nothing eve enter that void in your brain cavity,  Pity, .   

Jun 30, 2019, 11:50

Actual performances? The last we discussed actual performances you were spitting your dummy out in the face of video evidence. You have a short memory, which is in stark contrast to the length of your nose.

Jun 30, 2019, 13:31

Cioetzee has been very good. Lood is a must. Allende is still the best 12 on view, considerably better than that plodder Esterhuizen. 

Other candidates for 12 would be Kwagga a natural 12 and Willemse. Late in the day though. 

Serfontein also but how is he going these days. 

The fact of the matter is that when you are playing the ab ballarinas you need some pace in the loose trio oaks. 

Allende is becoming quite a skillful 12 these days. Surprised at the harping criticism of the guy. 

Kolisi may lack the speed to play 12 but would be an interesting possibilty

The best loose forward to assist our backline attack is Kwagga by some way. Our backs need all the help they can get and if you give Kwagga a roving role it could prove a winner. 

Jun 30, 2019, 13:49

Yes ... that is true. They tried Kolisi at 7 and it didn't work.

The reason they tried him there is cause they tried him at 6 too ... several times ...  and that unfortunately didn't work either.

I wonder ... where to next for Kolisi?

Jun 30, 2019, 13:50

Flo is useless ... I'd rather endure the incompetence of Kolisi.

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