SA A add Bok muscle for French Baabaas

Tue, 23 May 2017 11:45
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SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Experienced Springboks Trevor Nyakane, Ruan Combrinck, Juan de Jongh and Lionel Mapoe will lead the charge for the SA A team when they face the French Barbarians in two matches in Durban and Soweto next month.

Apart from these four Springboks in the 26-man squad, the national selectors also added a host of promising players in the group to face the French visitors.

The SA A side will again be coached by Lions coach Johan Ackermann, who was also in charge when the team played against the England Saxons last season.

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee said he was excited by the next crop of players coming through the ranks.

"I think we have a brilliant mix of experienced players who have tasted what Test rugby is all about already, and very promising prospects youngsters who will be pushing for higher honours in the not too distant future," said Coetzee.

"In my view, there is definitely a lot of value in having players with Test experience playing with these exciting prospects, who along with the Junior Springboks represent the future of South Arica rugby,"

Combrinck, who missed the Springbok tour of the United Kingdom and Italy at the end of 2016 because of injury, is part of an exciting-looking backline. He made an impressive Super Rugby comeback last weekend for the Lions against the Bulls in Johannesburg.

Other SA A squad members who have represented the Springboks at Test level include Nyakane (prop, Bulls), De Jongh (centre, Stormers), Mapoe (centre, Lions), Uzair Cassiem (flank, Cheetahs), Jean-Luc du Preez (flank, Sharks), Francois Venter (centre, Cheetahs) and Jamba Ulengo (wing, Bulls).

They are joined by exciting youngsters such as Nche (prop, Cheetahs), Thomas du Toit (prop, Sharks), Jason Jenkins (lock, Bulls), Chris Cloete (flank, Southern Kings), Andisa Ntsila (loose forward, Southern Kings) and Makazole Mapimpi (wing, Southern Kings).

South Africa A squad:

Forwards: Ruan Botha, Uzair Cassiem, Chris Cloete, Thomas du Toit, Andries Ferreira, Jason Jenkins, Wilco Louw, Jean-Luc du Preez, Franco Marais, Retshegofaditswe Nche, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Andisa Ntsila, Trevor Nyakane, Ramone Samuels.

Backs: Ruan Combrinck, Lionel Cronje, Juan de Jongh, Warrick Gelant, Makazole Mapimpi, Lionel Mapoe, Dewaldt Duvenage, Jamba Ulengo, Francois Venter, Jano Vermaak, Harold Vorster, Fred Zeilinga