There are eight DHL Stormers players in the Springbok squad for the upcoming Castle Lager Rugby Championship.
Forwards Steven Kitshoff, Bongi Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Siya Kolisi are joined by backline players Damian de Allende and Dillyn Leyds in the 34-man squad named by Springbok coach Allister Coetzee on Saturday.
Coetzee said he is pleased with the largely unchanged squad, which allows for greater continuity and consistency.
“Our players must be well-conditioned, match-fit and also be able to make good on-field decisions. We are also looking for continuity, experience and combinations – all elements which I believe are reflected in the current squad selection,” said Coetzee.
The Springbok group gets together on Tuesday, 8 August in Port Elizabeth to start their preparations for the 2017 campaign, which kicks off their on 19 August against Argentina at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Coetzee furthermore praised the good form of the Bok players during the French series and the Vodacom Super Rugby competition, which have allowed him to keep squad changes to a minimum.
“All of the Springboks who were in action in the June Tests and the latter part of the Vodacom Super Rugby campaign played very well and I have no doubt that they will bring that form with them when we assemble,” explained Coetzee.
“Some players have initially missed out on selection due to various reasons, but this squad is not cast in stone and changes can be made as we progress through the tournament.
“I always said it must be difficult for a player to force himself into the squad, and I am really pleased that through their performances they have again earned selection to the Springbok group.”
Coetzee emphasised that the Castle Lager Rugby Championship will pose a different challenge to the Boks over the next two months.
“The next six contests will be completely different to what we faced against France in June,” said the Bok coach.
“We will have to work even harder to meet these tough challenges against the Pumas, Wallabies and All Blacks. Thorough preparation is once again crucial to our campaign and I am therefore pleased that we could manage to work with some of the players in Stellenbosch last week as those players would have been out of action for almost a month by the time we assemble in Port Elizabeth.”
Uzair Cassiem (Toyota Cheetahs)
Lood de Jager (Vodacom Bulls)
Dan du Preez (Cell C Sharks)
Jean-Luc du Preez (Cell C Sharks)
Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers)
Eben Etzebeth (DHL Stormers)
Lizo Gqoboka (Vodacom Bulls)
Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers)
Siya Kolisi (DHL Stormers)
Jaco Kriel (Emirates Lions)
Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers)
Malcolm Marx (Emirates Lions)
Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers)
Oupa Mohoje (Toyota Cheetahs)
Franco Mostert (Emirates Lions)
Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks)
Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls)
Coenie Oosthuizen (Cell C Sharks)
Chiliboy Ralepelle (Cell C Sharks)
Curwin Bosch (Cell C Sharks)
Andries Coetzee (Emirates Lions)
Ross Cronje (Emirates Lions)
Damian de Allende (DHL Stormers)
Warrick Gelant (Vodacom Bull)
Francois Hougaard (Worcester)
Elton Jantjies (Emirates Lions)
Jesse Kriel (Vodacom Bulls)
Dillyn Leyds (DHL Stormers)
Rudy Paige (Vodacom Bulls)
Handré Pollard (Vodacom Bulls)
Raymond Rhule (Toyota Cheetahs)
Jan Serfontein (Vodacom Bulls)
Courtnall Skosan (Emirates Lions)
Francois Venter (Toyota Cheetahs)