DHL Stormers backline stars Manie Libbok and Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu earned their first Springbok call-ups on Friday.
The duo were among the 9 DHL Stormers called up by head coach Jacques Nienaber after he named his 35-man squad for the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour. They are joined by teammates Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, Deon Fourie, Marvin Orie, Salmaan Moerat, Evan Roos and Damian Willemse in the squad.
Sazi Sandi, Andre-Hugo Venter and Suleiman Hartzenberg were among the 5 DHL Stormers players that were called up to the South Africa ‘A’ by coach Mzwandile Stick.
Stick’s SA ‘A’ team also features capped Springboks Joseph Dweba and Herschel Jantjies.
The 19-man squad will travel to Ireland next week Saturday for their two-match tour against Munster and the Bristol Bears, where they will be joined by seven players from Nienaber’s squad following the Springboks’ opening Test against the top-ranked team in the world, Ireland, at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday, 5 November.
This will see the Springbok squad comprise of 28 players and the SA ‘A’ team 26 players.
The Ireland Test will be followed by another three internationals for the Boks against France in Marseille on 12 November, Italy in Genoa on 19 November and England in London on 26 November on the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour.
The SA ‘A’ team, meanwhile, will face Munster on Thursday, 10 November, and the Bristol Bears on 17 November.
Libbok and Feinberg-Mngomezulu, who captained the Junior Springboks earlier this year, are the only uncapped players in Nienaber’s 35-man squad.
Nienaber said he tried to strike a balance between experience and exposing a few young players to the national team on this tour.
On the selection of Libbok and Feinberg-Mngomezulu, Nienaber added: “Manie and Sacha have shown what they are capable of at Vodacom United Rugby Championship and Junior Springbok level and we are thrilled to see them being called up to what is a largely settled squad.”
Stick was also excited about the group of players that will travel with the SA ‘A’ team and said: “With this group of players, we will be able to select quality match-day squads for both matches with some capped Springboks and enthusiastic, talented young players, and I cannot wait to work with this group.
“For some players this will serve as a golden opportunity to throw their names into the hat for selection for the World Cup, while others will want to reinforce the faith the Bok coaches have had in them in the last few years, and it doesn’t get more exciting than that as a coach.
“I’ve worked with some of these players at Junior Springbok level and a few more during the Green and Gold Showdown in 2020, and I have full faith in the talent within the squad and the players’ abilities.”
The full Springbok squad will assemble in Dublin on Monday, while the SA ‘A’ players are set to depart for Cork next weekend to begin their preparations for the midweek games, where they will be joined by some of the coaches and players from the Bok squad.
Props: Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks), Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers), Vincent Koch (unattached), Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers), Ox Nche (Cell C Sharks), Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92)
Hookers: Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears), Bongi Mbonambi (Cell C Sharks)
Locks: Lood de Jager (Wild Knights), Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks), Jason Jenkins (Leinster), Salmaan Moerat, Marvin Orie (both DHL Stormers)
Loose forwards: Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz), Siya Kolisi (Cell C Sharks), Evan Roos (DHL Stormers), Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs), Marco van Staden (Vodacom Bulls), Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers)
Utility forwards: Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers), Franco Mostert (Honda Heat)
Scrumhalves: Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles), Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks), Cobus Reinach (Montpellier)
Flyhalves: Manie Libbok, Damian Willemse (both DHL Stormers)
Centres: Damian de Allende (Wild Knights), Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins), Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles)
Outside backs: Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz), Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks), Sbu Nkosi (Vodacom Bulls)
Utility backs: Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulon), Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (DHL Stormers)
SA ‘A’ squad:
Forwards: Simphiwe Matanzima (Vodacom Bulls), Ntuthuko Mchunu (Cell C Sharks), Sazi Sandi (DHL Stormers), Mornay Smith (Vodacom Bulls), Jan-Hendrik Wessels (Vodacom Bulls), Joseph Dweba (DHL Stormers), Andre-Hugo Venter (DHL Stormers), Ruan Nortje (Vodacom Bulls), Phepsi Buthelezi (Cell C Sharks), Sikhumbuzo Notshe (Cell C Sharks).
Backs: Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers), Sanele Nohamba (Emirates Lions), Grant Williams (Cell C Sharks), Johan Goosen (Vodacom Bulls), Gianni Lombard (Emirates Lions), Aphelele Fassi (Cell C Sharks), Cornal Hendricks (Vodacom Bulls), Suleiman Hartzenberg (DHL Stormers), Henco van Wyk (Emirates Lions).