Allister Coetzee has named his Springbok squad.
South African coach, Allister Coetzee, has named a 31 man squad for South Africa’s three match test series against Ireland.
In all Coetzee has included nine uncapped players in a squad that shows a number of changes from the side that finished third at the World Cup.
Indeed, while the South African squad that travelled to England in the Autumn was the most experienced on record, containing 880 caps, Coetzee’s team have only made a total of 541 international appearances.
Nevertheless, the new Springbok coach was quick to stress that his selection was based on ‘rewarding form and exposing young and upcoming local players to the Springboks, which is why priority was given to locally based players’.
Although he did not rule out including South Africa’s more experienced players in the future, he said ‘we just felt that the time was right to look at the next generation’.
Strangely, Coetzee did not use the squad announcement to name a captain, but did reveal that he was considering a number of candidates.
We have a number of captaincy candidates to consider and I will announce the name of the captain when we name the team to face Ireland in Cape Town in a few days’ time.
This would seem to suggest that Coetzee does not yet know whether or not Toulon will release Duane Vermeulen in time for the three match test series against Ireland.
South Africa squad to face Ireland
Forwards: Lood de Jager, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Steven Kitshoff, Siya Kolisi, Jaco Kriel, Francois Louw, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Tendai Mtawarira, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Scarra Ntubeni, Trevor Nyakane, Julian Redelinghuys, Adriaan Strauss, Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley
Backs: Garth April, Ruan Combrinck, Damian de Allende, Faf de Klerk, Nic Groom, Elton Jantjies, Jesse Kriel, Patrick Lambie, Willie le Roux, Lionel Mapoe, Lwazi Mvovo, Rudy Paige, JP Pietersen, Jan Serfontein