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Loftus Boks play their way in

There is no place for Marvin Orie, Evan Roos, Canan Moodie and Elton Jantjies

Liam Del Carme Sports reporter
Manie Libbok was one of several Springboks who shone against the Wallabies at Loftus.
Manie Libbok was one of several Springboks who shone against the Wallabies at Loftus.
Image: Lefty Shivambu (Gallo Images)

Having witnessed his team deliver an emphatic 43-12 victory in their Rugby Championship opener against the Wallabies at Loftus on Saturday, Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber named a group of 21 players to join their teammates in New Zealand.

With 14 players including injured captain Siya Kolisi having already started preparations in Auckland for next weekend's clash against the All Blacks, the Boks will have a group of 35 players on tour.

The group, however, does not include No.8 Evan Roos, lock Marvin Orie, wing Canan Moodie and flyhalf Elton Jantjies.

What that does for their Rugby World Cup prospects is not immediately clear but Orie explained players have to deliver and coaches have to select.

“That is the coach's responsibility and ultimately their decision. They make it clear to the players that we should always give their best,” he said.

“As a player, personally, I do what I can but at the end of the day it is not in the hands of the player. I try to do what I can in training and in matches.”

His debutant lock partner Jean Kleyn, however, cracked the nod for New Zealand as did several other Springboks who made a strong case for inclusion and perhaps enhanced their prospects of selection for the World Cup in the win over the Wallabies.

Assistant coach Mzwandile Stick explained the group initially earmarked to join the Boks' advance party in New Zealand had to be altered based on performances at Loftus.

“Once again it goes back to giving opportunities. Some of the guys today booked their place to go to New Zealand,” Stick said.

Duane Vermeulen, who captained the Springboks against the Wallabies, wing Kurt-Lee Arendse, centre André Esterhuizen and flyhalf Manie Libbok delivered compelling performances to book a seat to New Zealand. 

Front-rankers Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe and Bongi Mbonambi and backs Lukhanyo Am, Cobus Reinach and Grant Williams will all make the flight across the Indian Ocean on Sunday afternoon.

The Rugby Championship 2023 - South Africa v Australia - Rd 1 Highlights

They will only arrive in Auckland late on Monday night.

Nienaber, SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus and Bok assistant coach Felix Jones departed for New Zealand immediately after the Loftus Test, which will allow them a full week's training with their players.

It was always part of our planning that some of the players who ran out in the Test against Australia would travel to New Zealand, and given some impressive performances today, we decided to take a few more players than we originally planned for,” Erasmus said.

We now have the luxury of having a bunch of fresh of players to work with in New Zealand from Monday, and they’ll be joined by a group who have experienced the physicality of Australia and who can add energy and momentum at training from Tuesday.

We’ll analyse the match on our journey to New Zealand and then announce our team to face the All Blacks on Tuesday.”

Additional Springbok players travelling to New Zealand:

Forwards: Thomas du Toit (prop), Pieter-Steph du Toit (loose forward), Deon Fourie (utility forward), Steven Kitshoff (prop), Jean Kleyn (lock), Vincent Koch (prop) Frans Malherbe (prop), Bongi Mbonambi (hooker), Trevor Nyakane (prop), RG Snyman (lock), Marco van Staden (flank), Duane Vermeulen (No.8).

Backs: Lukhanyo Am (centre), Kurt-Lee Arendse (wing), André Esterhuizen (centre), Herschel Jantjies (scrumhalf), Willie le Roux (fullback), Manie Libbok (flyhalf), Cobus Reinach (scrumhalf), Damian Willemse (utility back), Grant Williams (scrumhalf).

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