Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is leaving very few stones unturned in his quest to select a squad for this year’s World Cup, opting to have a look at a large number of players over the course of two separate training camps next month.
No fewer than 76 players, including some very unusual names indeed, have been invited to the camps, the first of which takes place next week. Sharks players will miss out on that one, due to their tour, but will be added for the following camp at the end of May, by which stage the Bulls will be on tour.
It’s hard to imagine the likes of Dean Greyling, Demetri Catrakilis, Kobus van Wyk, Jean Deysel or Bongi Mbonambi being in with a realistic shot of World cup selection, but they are among the hordes summoned; injured players like Pieter-Steph du Toit, Heinrich Brussow and Jean de Villiers are also well in the mix.
12 Sharks players are in the mix; Tendai Mtawaria, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Marcel Coetzee, Willem Alberts, Pat Lambie and JP Pietersen are all World Cup certainties, while Cobus Reinach and Lwazi Mvovo are also in with a good shot. Deysel and Ryan Kankowski have surely been invited on the basis that they have been there before and could come into the mix if there are injuries. Interestingly enough, none of Frans Steyn, S’bura Sithole or Stephan Lewies is in contention at this stage.
The Springbok training squads (44 each) are:
Johannesburg camp (Cell C Sharks on tour) – 3 to 6 May:
Forwards (26): Arno Botha, Ruan Botha, Heinrich Brüssow, 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, Handré Pollard, Jan Serfontein, Kobus van Wyk, Francois Venter.
Cape Town camp (Vodacom Bulls on tour) – 31 May to 3 June:
Forwards (27): Willem Alberts, Ruan Botha, Heinrich Brüssow, 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.Tweet