Eight uncapped players have been included in coach Jacques Nienaber’s first Springbok squad, ahead of the Tests against Georgia and the British and Irish Lions.
Also, veteran Bok stars, Morne Steyn and Frans Steyn, are in the 46-man squad and have the rare chance to face the Lions for a second time.
Not surprisingly, Nienaber has picked the entire World Cup-winning squad from 2019, minus the retired trio of Beast Mtawarira, Francois Louw and Schalk Brits and the injured Warrick Gelant.
The eight uncapped players are Joseph Dweba (hooker), Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg (lock), Jasper Wiese (loose forward), Sanele Nohamba (scrumhalf), Wandisile Simelane (centre), Yaw Penxe, Rosko Specman (both wings) and Aphelele Fassi (fullback).
The Springboks, who haven’t played a Test since beating England in the World Cup final in early November 2019, will line up against Georgia on successive Fridays, on 2 and 9 July, before facing the British and Irish Lions in three Tests on 24 and 31 July, and 7 August respectively.
The South Africa “A” team, which will comprise of players from this squad, will also meet the Lions on Wednesday, 14 July.
Seven players in the squad boast 50 or more Test caps, with Eben Etzebeth leading the pack with an impressive 85 caps, while Morné Steyn – who last featured in the green and gold in 2016 – headlines a list of 10 players who will make a welcome return to the Springbok squad.
The squad will kick off preparations on Monday with a three-week conditioning camp in Bloemfontein. The locally-based players will assemble at their base on Sunday, with the overseas-based players joining in clusters according to their club commitments.
The squad will be trimmed following the encounter between the South Africa ‘A’ team and British & Irish Lions.
Thomas du Toit (Sharks, 12 caps, 0 pts)
Steven Kitshoff (Stormers, 47 caps, 5 pts)
Vincent Koch (Saracens, 21 caps, 0 pts)
Frans Malherbe (Stormers, 38 caps, 5 pts)
Ox Nché (Sharks, 1 cap, 0 pts)
Trevor Nyakane (Bulls, 42 caps, 5 pts)
Coenie Oosthuizen (Sale Sharks, 30 caps, 20 pts)
Joseph Dweba (Bordeaux-Bègles, uncapped)
Malcolm Marx (Spears, 33 caps, 25 pts)
Bongi Mbonambi (Stormers, 36 caps, 35 pts)
Scarra Ntubeni (Stormers, 1 cap, 0 pts)
Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks, 45 caps, 25 pts)
Eben Etzebeth (Toulon, 85 caps, 15 pts)
Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg (Montpellier, uncapped)
Franco Mostert (Heat, 39 caps, 5 pts)
Marvin Orie (Stormers, 3 caps, 0 pts)
RG Snyman (Munster, 23 caps, 5 pts)
Dan du Preez (Sale Sharks, 4 caps, 0 pts)
Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers, 55 caps, 25 pts)
Siya Kolisi (Sharks, 50 caps, 30 pts)
Kwagga Smith (Júbilo, 6 caps, 0 pts)
Marco van Staden (Bulls, 3 caps, 0 pts)
Duane Vermeulen (Bulls, 54 caps, 15 pts)
Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers, uncapped)
Jean-Luc du Preez (Sale Sharks, 13 caps, 10 pts)
Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse, 2 caps, 0 pts)
Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, 30 caps, 20 pts)
Herschel Jantjies (Stormers, 10 caps, 20 pts)
Sanele Nohamba (Sharks, uncapped)
Cobus Reinach (Montpellier, 14 caps, 30 pts)
Elton Jantjies (Pau, 37 caps, 281 pts)
Handré Pollard (Montpellier, 48 caps 457 pts)
Morné Steyn (Bulls, 66 caps, 736 pts)
Lukhanyo Am (Sharks, 15 caps, 15 pts)
Damian de Allende (Munster, 47 caps, 30 pts)
Jesse Kriel (Eagles, 46 caps, 60 pts)
Wandisile Simelane (Lions, uncapped)
Frans Steyn (Cheetahs, 67 caps, 141 pts)
Aphelele Fassi (Sharks, uncapped)
Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse, 14 caps, 40 pts)
Willie le Roux (Verblitz, 61 caps, 60 pts)
Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks, 14 caps, 70 pts)
Sbu Nkosi (Sharks, 11 caps, 40 pts)
Yaw Penxe (Sharks, uncapped)
Rosko Specman (Cheetahs, uncapped)
Damian Willemse (Stormers, 6 caps, 5 pts)
???? BREAKING! Springbok squad announced for #CastleLionsSeries
???????? 29 RWC winners and eight uncapped players in 46-man squad
????️ “A huge challenge lies ahead … we need to hit the ground running”
???? Full squad here: https://t.co/Yn9Zp6F1a8#StrongerTogether #StrongerForever pic.twitter.com/CXHl97tP4y
— Springboks (@Springboks) June 5, 2021