Erasmus, Nienaber express ‘excitement’ for Springbok Showdown as players arrive at camp

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Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus.

Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus.

SA Rugby Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus and Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber cannot contain their excitement after the Green and Gold squads assembled in Cape Town on Sunday.

The selected players arrived at the camp ahead of the Springbok Showdown at DHL Newlands on Saturday, 3 October (kick-off is at 17:05).

“It was fantastic to see the excitement on the players’ faces for this occasion when they arrived at the hotel and it certainly bodes well for a great showdown on Saturday,” said Nienaber, who is the Gold team commissioner.

“One could sense the excitement and camaraderie among the Rugby World Cup-winning players to be back together for the first time since lifting the Webb Ellis Cup last year, while the new players and young guns were in great spirits and thrilled to be part of the national set-up.

“This week is going to be different for us due to the strict COVID-19 safety protocols, but fortunately the players have all been exposed to these safety guidelines at their provincial unions in the last few weeks.

“It is clear that everyone is excited to get into the swing of things when we begin our on-field training on Monday.”

It will be the first time the 2019 Rugby World Cup winners will be together again since the Trophy Tour in November last year.

As for some of the new faces and younger players, they will get the chance to familiarise themselves with national set-up throughout the week.

After being briefed on the Covid-19 safety protocols, the Green and Gold teams will begin their preparations on Monday morning.

“During lockdown, Jacques and his assistant coaches kept in touch with the players by means of regular virtual meetings,” said Erasmus, who is the Springbok Green team commissioner.

“However, nothing beats that feeling of being back in an actual team environment. Apart from the few training activities, which will not be heavily loaded, we will also spend a lot of time on aligning the players in both squads regarding our team objectives for the Castle Lager Springbok Showdown.

“Everyone are excited to be together again and we are looking forward to working with the players in the build-up to Saturday’s match.”

Deon Davids and Mzwandile Stick, the respective coaches of the Gold and Green squads, will announce their match day squads on Wednesday afternoon.

The two Springbok Showdown draft squads are:

Springbok Green squad

Props: Ox Nche, Thomas du Toit, Trevor Nyakane, Luan de Bruin

Hookers: Bongi Mbonambi, Schalk Erasmus

Locks: JD Schickerling, Hyron Andrews, Oupa Mohoje

Loose forwards: Siya Kolisi, Arno Botha, Duane Vermeulen, Junior Pokomela, Juarno Augustus

Scrumhalves: Sanele Nohamba, Embrose Papier

Flyhalves: Elton Jantjies, Manie Libbok

Centres: Frans Steyn, Wandisile Simelane, Jeremy Ward

Outside backs: Seabelo Senatla, Yaw Penxe, Gianni Lombard, Malcolm Jaer

Springbok Gold squad:

Props: Steven Kitshoff, Dylan Smith, Frans Malherbe, Ruan Dreyer

Hookers: Scarra Ntubeni, Dylan Richardson 

Locks: Salmaan Moerat, Marvin Orie, Jason Jenkins

Loose forwards: Marco van Staden, Nizaam Carr, Sikhumbuzo Notshe; Vincent Tshituka, James Venter

Scrumhalves: Herschel Jantjies, Jaden Hendrikse

Flyhalves: Damian Willemse, Curwin Bosch

Centres: Rikus Pretorius, Lukhanyo Am, Werner Kok, Manuel Rass

Outside backs: Sergeal Petersen, Rosko Specman, Warrick Gelant

– Compiled by Sport24 staff

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