The World champion Springbok rugby team will embark on a four-day Trophy Tour to major regional population centres from Thursday, SA Rugby announced on Sunday.

The team will attend the gala World Rugby Awards ceremony in Paris on Sunday night before leaving France for South Africa on Monday morning.

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The Boks arrive back in South Africa on Tuesday (10h55) at OR Tambo International Airport and will commence the tour 48 hours later.


The tour will start in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Soweto – concluding at FNB Stadium – on Thursday, 2 November, and take in Cape Town (Friday, 3 November) and Durban (Saturday, 4 November) before concluding in the Eastern Cape (East London) on Sunday, 5 November.

The locations have been selected for population size in the first three instances and because of the Eastern Cape’s rugby significance in the fourth.

Satellite tours to Bloemfontein, Nelson Mandela Bay and other centres will be scheduled for 2024. Such tours following the 2019 victory had to be abandoned because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The route for each tour has been prepared in consultation with the respective local authorities and the South African Police Service.

Route maps and timings will be published at the official website on SA Rugby’s social media channels and by local authorities in due course.

Springboks captain Siya Kolisi says they knew it would take something special to beat France in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final on Sunday. The Boks are through to the World Cup semi-final after a 29-28 win in Paris.

They will face England in the last four on Saturday, while Argentina and New Zealand will meet in the first semi-final on Friday.

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“We worked together as a team and we talked a lot about never giving up,” said Kolisi.

“We knew it would take something special and we did it today. France asked a lot of questions of us, but the character we showed stood out.

“We had a clear plan on what we needed to do, especially at the breakdown. We had to fight for one another, especially in the last eight minutes of the yellow card. I’m proud of the guys and the discipline they showed,” he said.


Head coach Jacques Nienaber was equally proud of the team.

“We knew how tough it would be to come to France and face the French. They’ve been playing well and were consistent in their performances.

“They’ve also been building well as a team, so we knew it was going to be a proper Test match and it was always going to be tight. Many of the games (in the tournament) have been won and lost in the last eight minutes.”

Kolisi added to the coach’s sentiments.

“To latch onto what Jacques said, their team has been building for four years and we knew it would take everything (to win),” said Kolisi.

“For their captain to come back from an injury and the play the way he did was good.

“We knew how loud and intense it would be at the stadium, but the French people can be proud of their team. It was a tough game, and we knew it would take something special.”

While Nienaber was open about his excitement, he said the Boks still had work to do if they wanted to defend their title.

“There were good things and other things we didn’t do so well,” said Nienaber, “but there was the pressure of a knock-out game, and we know there is a lot we need to work on going forward.”

The Springboks will move hotels in Paris on Monday and will have the day off to rest and recover before returning to training on Tuesday for the semi-final.

Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber named an experienced team for their Rugby World Cup quarter-final against France. The much-anticipated clash will take place at the Stade de France in Paris on Sunday evening.

The squad features 15 players who featured in the 2019 final, a further four players in the match-23 to face the in-form hosts were also part of the 2019 squad. Only four were not present in Japan among a team bristling with experience.

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“Most of these players have Rugby World Cup experience and several of them were involved in the 2019 final. So they know what it takes to perform in big moments,” said coach Nienaber.

“Twenty of these players were also in the matchday squad that played France in Marseille last season. Which was a good dress rehearsal for what we can expect from France and their supporters.”


15 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) – 36 caps, 56 pts (4t, 9c, 4p, 2d)
14 – Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls) – 12 caps, 60 pts (12t)
13 – Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles) – 65 caps, 75 pts (15t)
12 – Damian de Allende (Wild Knights) – 75 caps, 50 pts (10t)
11 – Cheslin Kolbe (Suntory Sungoliath) – 28 caps, 86 pts (13t, 3c, 5p)
10 – Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers) – 12 caps, 80 pts (1t, 24c, 9p)
9 – Cobus Reinach (Montpellier) – 29 caps, 60 pts (12t)
8 – Duane Vermeulen (SA Rugby) – 73 caps, 15 pts (3t)
7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz) – 73 caps, 40 pts (8t)
6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Racing 92) – 80 caps, 50 pts (10t)
5 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 70 caps, 15 pts (3t)
4 – Eben Etzebeth (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 116 caps, 25 pts (5t)
3 – Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers) – 66 caps, 5pts (1t)
2 – Bongi Mbonambi (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 65 caps, 65pts (13t)
1 – Steven Kitshoff (Ulster) – 80 caps, 10 pts (2t)


16 – Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers) – 10 caps, 10 pts (2t)
17 – Ox Nche (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 25 caps
18 – Vincent Koch (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 47 caps, 0pts
19 – RG Snyman (Munster) – 31 caps, 5pts (1t)
20 – Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs) – 37 caps, 35 pts (7t)
21 – Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles) – 52 caps, 48 pts (5t, 4c, 5p)
22 – Handre Pollard (Leicester Tigers) – 67 caps, 673 pts (7t, 94c, 145p, 5d)
23 – Willie le Roux (Vodacom Bulls) – 90 caps, 75 pts (15t)

Lukhanyo Am, a member of the Springboks’ 2019 Rugby World Cup winning team, has been called into the 2023 squad as an injury replacement for wing Makazole Mapimpi. Mapimpi suffered a fractured cheekbone in Sunday’s 49-18 victory over Tonga on Sunday.

Mapimpi is expected to be out of action for four to six weeks.

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Am will join the squad in Toulon this week, having returned to training on his rehabilitation from a knee injury suffered in the 24-13 victory over Argentina in Buenos Aires on 5 August.


The 29-year-old centre missed out on squad selection because of the injury. He appeared in the first four matches of the season as he recovered from a knee injury suffered in 2022.

He is the second injury replacement to the 33-man squad. This follows the call-up of flyhalf Handre Pollard for hooker Malcolm Marx. Pollard made a successful return to the team against Tonga.

Flyhalf Handre Pollard will join the Springboks squad in Paris on Monday after a late call-up for the Rugby World Cup. Pollard will fill the vacancy created by hooker Malcolm Marx, who was ruled out earlier this week due to a knee injury.

The inclusion of Pollard brings the full complement of players in the team back to 33. He returned to the field on Friday for English club Leicester after a calf injury ruled him out of contention for selection for the RWC squad.

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He was a member of the 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning team in Japan and spent some time in camp with the squad for their final two warm-up games against Wales and the All Blacks in August.

Handre Pollard to join Springboks World Cup Squad
Makazole Mapimpi against Romania


Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber explained the decision to call up Pollard rather than a forward:

“We are confident with the cover we have at hooker with Bongi Mbonambi and Deon Fourie. Marco van Staden has been slotting in the position since our alignment camps in February, so we opted to call up Handre, who has been in our system for years.

“He’s also been working hard to return to full fitness. We are pleased that he now has some game time under his belt for his club. This will also allow him to slot back into the team.

“We’ll work closely with him in the next week to get him back up to speed and back into the full swing of things, and we have no doubt he’ll step up to the challenge. He’s been here before so he knows the physical and mental demands of the World Cup.”

The Springboks will make the journey from Bordeaux to Paris on Monday. They will begin their preparations for Saturday’s round-three RWC clash against Ireland.

Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx has been ruled out of the remainder of the Rugby World Cup. This comes after he picked up a long-term knee injury.

Marx went down at training on Wednesday after having his knee caught in contact. He was not part of the Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber’s matchday squad to face Romania in Bordeaux on Sunday. The Springboks also indicated that they would not be replacing him.

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“First and foremost, we are extremely disappointed for Malcolm, and we wish him all the best in his recovery,” said Nienaber.

“He’s been working very hard to be in the best form possible for the tournament, and it’s tragic that his campaign has ended this way. As a team we will remain in contact with him, as we do with all injured players such as Lukhanyo (Am), Handre (Pollard) and Lood (de Jager), and support him as much as we can through the recovery process.


“We have enough cover at hooker with Bongi (Mbonambi) and Deon (Fourie) in the squad, while Marco (van Staden) has also been training there and has been named on all our team sheets so far as a hooker option.

“We’ll assess our needs for the rest of the tournament and confirm who we are calling up as an additional player later this week.”

The Springboks will depart for Bordeaux on Thursday. They will continue their preparations for Sunday’s round two encounter against Romania at Stade de Bordeaux.

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi says the Squad embraces the pressure that comes with winning back-to-back Rugby World Cup titles.

The Springbok World Cup squad led by Kolisi was announced on Tuesday in Randburg, Gauteng. The tournament will commence on 8 September – 28 October 2023 in France. South Africa are in Pool B alongside Ireland, Scotland, Tonga and Romania.

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Kolisi has vowed that his team would give their best to achieve the special feat. They are also set to become the first team to lift the Webb Ellis Cup four times if they eventually win it.

“We know what the country wants and expects, and we want the same thing,” he said.

Kolisi is also set to return to full team training on Monday following knee surgery.

“We love the pressure because there was a time that no one wanted to see us play. So, we embrace the pressure, and we want to do something special that has only been done by New Zealand to win back-to-back World Cups, and also to become the first team to win it four times.”

Siya Kolisi wants to guide the Springbok team to back-to-back Rugby World Cup titles
Springbok World Cup squad


The Boks will kick off their Rugby World Cup campaign against Scotland in Marseille on Sunday, 10 September. They will then face Romania in Bordeaux (17 September), Ireland in Paris (23 September) and Tonga in Marseille (1 October) in their other pool matches.

“We know what it will mean to us and the country. As Coach Rassie (Erasmus – SA Rugby Director of Rugby) said in 2019, it’s not pressure, it’s a privilege,” added Kolisi.

He is set to play in his third World Cup. “It’s always special to be part of the group. There are so many guys that could have been selected and didn’t make it, so for those of us who were selected.

“We have the responsibility to ensure we play for them too.”

The Springboks had their first field training session of the week on Wednesday morning following the team’s arrival from Buenos Aires on Monday. They will have two more before the team’s official farewell on Saturday.

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has named a squad of 26 players for their opening Rugby World Cup warm-up game in Argentina. The match will take place on Saturday, 5 August.

Several players who did not feature against the Pumas on Saturday will board the airplane early on Sunday morning.

The players in the travelling contingent who were involved in the team’s 22-21 victory against the Pumas in Johannesburg earlier on Saturday are Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Trevor Nyakane (all props). Bongi Mbonambi (hooker), Marvin Orie (lock), Manie Libbok (flyhalf), Kurt-Lee Arendse (wing), Jesse Kriel, Lukhanyo Am (both centres) and Damian Willemse (utility back).

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“Next week’s match is the last opportunity for the players to make a strong statement for selection before we name our Rugby World Cup squad. We are excited to see what those players will deliver in what is going to be a testing encounter in Buenos Aires,” said Nienaber.

“It’s extremely tough to play there. Argentina enjoys massive support from their vocal home crowd. So it’s not only going to be a physical test for the players, but a mental one as well.

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber names 26-man squad for warm-up match
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber


Props: Thomas du Toit, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Gerhard Steenekamp, Trevor Nyakane.
Hookers: Bongi Mbonambi, Joseph Dweba.
Locks: Lood de Jager, Jean Kleyn, Marvin Orie.
Loose forwards: Jean-Luc du Preez, Evan Roos, Jasper Wiese.
Utility forwards: Deon Fourie, Franco Mostert.
Scrumhalves: Jaden Hendrikse, Herschel Jantjies, Cobus Reinach.
Flyhalf: Manie Libbok.
Centres: Lukhanyo Am, Andre Esterhuizen, Jesse Kriel.
Outside Backs: Makazole Mapimpi, Canan Moodie, Kurt-Lee Arendse.
Utility back: Damian Willemse.


Forwards: Pieter-Steph du Toit (loose forward), Eben Etzebeth (lock), Siya Kolisi (flank), Frans Malherbe (prop), Malcolm Marx (hooker), Ox Nche (prop), Kwagga Smith (loose forward), RG Snyman (lock), Marco van Staden (flank), Duane Vermeulen (No 8).

Backs: Damian de Allende (centre), Faf de Klerk (scrumhalf), Cheslin Kolbe (wing), Willie le Roux (fullback), Handre Pollard (flyhalf), Grant Williams (scrumhalf).

Meanwhile, the Springboks secured a hard-fought 22-21 Castle Lager Rugby Championship victory over Argentina on Saturday.

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber will step down as the national coach at the conclusion of the team’s Rugby World Cup campaign in France. He will then take up a position in Leinster’s coaching ranks in Ireland next year. SA Rugby confirmed in a statement.

Nienaber cited personal reasons for the decision. But he added that his focus remained on the major task of the year, which was to give everything in the Springboks’ defence of their Rugby World Cup title.


“The last few years have been the highlight of my coaching career. It’s with a heavy heart that I’m finishing up my time with the Springboks and leaving the country for personal reasons,” announced Nienaber.

“The decision is made and that’s firmly behind me now. My sole focus is on seeing the Springboks defend the Rugby World Cup title this year. I will continue to channel all my energy into ensuring that we leave no stone unturned to achieve that.”


“Jacques was very open with us about the reasons for wanting to leave South Africa at the end of the season,” said SA Rugby CEO Rian Oberholzer. 

“We will confirm a successor in the title role of Springbok coach in due course. But Rassie Erasmus’ services are locked in to the end of 2025 at the very least.”

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber will step down as the national coach
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber will step down as the national coach

Nienaber has served several roles within the South African rugby structures. This includes as a Springbok assistant coach at the 2011 and also 2019 Rugby World Cup’s. This was before stepping into the head coaching role in 2020.

Also read: Springboks schedule ahead of Rugby World Cup

The Springboks kick off the international season against Australia in Pretoria on Saturday, 8 July, in the opening round of the shortened Castle Lager Rugby Championship. It will be followed by clashes against New Zealand at the Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland a week later. Argentina in Johannesburg on Saturday, 29 July, their final match on home soil for the year.

The Boks will then make the journey to Buenos Aires in August to take on the Pumas before facing Wales and the All Blacks in Rugby World Cup warm-up matches in Cardiff and London in the final build-up to the international showpiece in France.

They will launch their Rugby World Cup title defence on Sunday, 10 September, against Scotland in Marseille. It will be followed by pool matches against Romania in Bordeaux [17 September], Ireland in Paris [23 September] and Tonga in Marseille [1 October].

Springbok Women interim coach Louis Koen named three uncapped players in the starting team to face the Test against Canada in Madrid on Saturday.

The quartet of debutants apart, Koen opted for an experienced match day squad for the test at Estadio Nacional de la Universidad Complutense.

Nineteen members of the match-23 were part of last year’s Rugby World Cup squad in New Zealand.

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The players are Mary Zulu (fullback), Shaunique Hess (centre) and Danelle Lochner (lock) – in the starting team and added Byrhandré Dolf (utility back) to the bench.

Kickoff for the match is at 16:00 on Saturday.

Springbok Women in action
Springbok Women in action

The Springbok Women team to face Canada in Madrid:

15. Mary Zulu – uncapped

14. Nomawethu Mabenge – 12 tests, 25 points (5 tries)

13. Shaunique Hess – uncapped

12. Aphiwe Ngwevu – 14 tests, 35 points (7 tries)

11. Jakkie Cilliers – 3 tests, 13 points (1 try, 1 conversion, 2 penalty goals)

10. Libbie Janse van Rensburg – 10 tests, 103 points (4 tries, 28 conversions, 8 penalty goals, 1 drop goal)

9. Tayla Kinsey – 24 tests, 48 points (2 tries, 16 conversions, 2 penalty goals)

8. Aseza Hele – 16 tests, 30 points (6 tries)

7. Catha Jacobs – 9 tests, 0 points

6. Lusanda Dumke – 18 tests, 25 points (5 tries)

5. Danelle Lochner – uncapped

4. Nolusindiso Booi (captain) – 33 tests, 10 points (2 tries)

3. Babalwa Latsha – 20 tests, 10 points (2 tries)

2. Lindelwa Gwala – 20 tests, 10 points (2 tries)

1. Sanelisiwe Charlie – 5 tests, 0 points


16. Roseline Botes – 8 caps, 10 points (2 tries)

17. Yonela Ngxingolo – 19 tests, 5 points (1 try)

18. Azisa Mkiva – 2 tests, 0 points

19. Sinazo Mcatshulwa – 17 tests, 35 points (7 tries)

20. Nompumelelo Mathe – 9 tests, 10 points (2 tries)

21. Unam Tose – 13 tests, 0 points

22. Chumisa Qawe – 10 tests, 5 points (1 try)

23. Byrhandré Dolf – uncapped