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Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber named a Castle Lager Rugby Championship training squad of 40 players. It features a handful of overseas based players, for their next assignment, a three-week training camp in Tshwane from Sunday until Thursday, 29 June.

The additional players that will assemble in the capital are Cheslin Kolbe (wing), Andre Esterhuizen (centre), Handre Pollard (flyhalf), Jasper Wiese (No 8), Jean-Luc du Preez (utility forward), as well as Vincent Koch and Trevor Nyakane (both props).

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Furthermore, Jean Kleyn – who played five Tests for Ireland after qualifying on residency grounds in September 2019, which included participating in the 2019 Rugby World Cup – will join the squad as a 41st member pending the outcome of an application filed by SA Rugby regarding the former DHL Stormers lock’s eligibility in terms of Regulation 8 and based on birth right. The decision is expected to be received soon.

The squad – with the exception of Nyakane, Koch and Du Preez, all of whom will join the camp later at different stages due to personal and club commitments – will begin their on-field training sessions on Monday.

“It is great that we have been able to invite this group of players to the camp and we are excited to get back onto the field and to switch into international mode completely,” said Nienaber.

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber named a Castle Lager Rugby Championship training squad
Springbok players

The Boks will begin their 2023 season on Saturday, 8 July, with their opening Castle Lager Rugby Championship match against the Wallabies in Pretoria, which will be followed by a Test against New Zealand at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland (15 July), before returning to South Africa for their closing match of the abbreviated version of the tournament against Argentina in Johannesburg (29 July).

They will then play three Rugby World Cup warm-up matches: against Argentina in Buenos Aires (Saturday, 5 August), Wales in Cardiff (Saturday, 19 August) and New Zealand in London (Friday, 25 August) before departing for the Rugby World Cup in France.

SPRINGBOK CASTLE LAGER RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP TRAINING SQUAD: 

Props: Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks), Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers), Vincent Koch (Stade Francais), Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers), Ox Nche (Cell C Sharks), Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92).

Hookers: Joseph Dweba (DHL Stormers), Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears), Bongi Mbonambi (Cell C Sharks).

Locks: Lood de Jager (Wild Knights), Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks), Marvin Orie (DHL Stormers), RG Snyman (Munster).

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), Duane Vermeulen (Ulster), Jasper Wiese (Leicester).

Utility Forwards: Jean-Luc du Preez (Sale Sharks), Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers), Franco Mostert (Honda Heat).

Scrumhalves: Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles), Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks), Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers), Cobus Reinach (Montpellier), Grant Williams (Cell C Sharks).

Flyhalves: Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers), Handre Pollard (Leicester), Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers).

Centres: Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks), Damian de Allende (Wild Knights), Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins), Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles).

Outside Backs: Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulon), Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz), Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks), Canan Moodie (Vodacom Bulls).

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