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Jacques Nienaber names Springbok Squad, Pollard reaches his 50th cap

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Siya Kolisi has been cleared from Covid-19 after a period of isolation he will be captaining the Springbok team as they head into their clash against the British & Irish Lions on Saturday 24 July 2021. Alongside Kolisi, Pollard earns his 50th cap and is set to vice-captain the side. The match kicks off at 18h00 and will be broadcasted live on SuperSport.

Due to limited time preparation, Nienaber nailed his selection and based the decisions on which players knew the structures well. Mapimpi has been with the squad since 2018 and it was comfortable to select him. Kwagga Smith fills a huge balance in the back and brings to the team a certain set of skills set, which added a large amount of depth to the squad. Nienaber added that he reads the game well and could fill positions 6, 7 and 8.

Nienaber mentioned that Kolisi being selected as captain has added much consistency in areas of leadership, as well as Pollard. There are various and multiple leaders in the squad who play pivotal roles and all have an important role, he said.

On the selection of Ox Nche, the coaching team sees the front row as a unit and pairing, Kitshoff brings different attribute opposed to other front rowers. The Springboks are very fortunate to have a solid front row, as Malherbe and Kitshoff would add tremendous value in a second half as well.

The changes to the squad where Mapimpi and Kolbe, Damian de Allende will partner up with Lukhanyo Am – the same combinations that ran out in the Rugby World Cup Final. The only two changes among the replacements were at loose forward where Rynhardt Elstadt replaces Jasper Wiese and Lood de Jager takes over from Marvin Orie.

“We planned our team selections carefully, which is why it was important for us to play a third match after the second Test against Georgia was cancelled, and we know what the players we selected can do.”

“Some of the players didn’t have COVID-19 symptoms at all, they have been managed according their individual needs, and they have really impressed me with their intensity and enthusiasm at training,” he said.

“The well-being of our players is of paramount importance, so we have been working closely with the medical team to work out what would be the best course of action for each player over the three-Test Series.”

“The forward battle is going to be as tough as it gets, so it’s important that we pitch up physically and ensure that we make our presence felt in the set pieces and at the contact points,” added the Bok coach.

“This, combined with their hard-running backs, will test our defensive system, but we have been looking forward to these matches since the Rugby World Cup concluded and we have done our homework, so it is a case of doing everything at 100% and sticking to our structures.”

Referees Appointed
Nic Berry (Australia)
Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Mathieu Raynal (France)

Springbok team to face the British & Irish Lions at Cape Town Stadium:
15 – Willie le Roux
14 – Cheslin Kolbe
13 – Lukhanyo Am
12 – Damian de Allende
11 – Makazole Mapimpi
10 – Handré Pollard (vice-captain)
9 – Faf de Klerk
8 – Kwagga Smith
7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit
6 – Siya Kolisi (captain)
5 – Franco Mostert
4 – Eben Etzebeth
3 – Trevor Nyakane
2 – Bongi Mbonambi
1– Ox Nché

Replacements:
16 – Malcolm Marx
17 – Steven Kitshoff
18 – Frans Malherbe
19 – Lood de Jager
20 – Rynhardt Elstadt
21 – Herschel Jantjies
22 – Elton Jantjies
23 – Damian Willemse

Source : Fatima Said and SA Rugby Communications


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