Rassie Erasmus, Springboks coach. Image via JULIEN DE ROSA, AFP

Confirmed: Springboks’ class of 2024 rookies to debut against Wales

Rassie Erasmus says the Springboks’ Test against Wales at Twickenham will be used to introduce uncapped players to the international arena.


Rassie Erasmus, Springboks coach. Image via JULIEN DE ROSA, AFP

Rassie Erasmus mapped out his plans for the Springboks’ “standalone” match against Wales in July, with the main aim being to hand Test debuts to some rookies.

The Springboks were initially scheduled to face Ireland in a two-match Test series, followed by a clash against Portugal during the mid-year Test window.

However, a mouth-watering fixture — against Wales in London — was added to the calendar, with the game kicking off South Africa’s 2024 Test campaign.

It’s an open secret that the two games against Ireland are the most anticipated Springbok fixtures of the year, as it pits the world’s two top-ranked sides against each other. There’s also the small matter of Ireland being the last side to defeat the world champion Springboks (when they met at the World Cup last year) and South Africa having last beaten the Irish as far back as 2016.

With so much hinging on those blue-ribbon clashes against the Irish, there’s a widespread belief that the season opener against Wales will serve solely as a measure of preparation in the lead-up to the series against Andy Farrell’s men.


Speaking during a Springbok conference on Tuesday, Rassie Erasmus explained that the importance of the addition of the Wales Test aligns with his vision for the team’s long-term future, which is independent from the preparation for matches against Ireland.

In layman’s terms, Rassie Erasmus will hand out Test caps to a few debutants against Wales as part of the project to wider the Springboks’ player pool and to build squad depth, while South Africa will call on its most senior players to square off the Irish.

Most notable from that revelation was Erasmus’ admission that the prospective debutants will be selected from the 43-man group who attended the first alignment camp in Cape Town.

“We can’t say the Wales Test is preparation for the Ireland series,” he revealed. “The Wales game falls outside the Test window, so the team will probably be selected from the 43 men who assembled for the first alignment camp, plus a few Japan-based players. But no capped players based in England and France [will be made available for selection by their club].

“I’m not quite sure about those in Ireland [Steven Kitshoff at Ulster and RG Snyman at Munster, etc],  as obviously there’s still some URC games that specific weekend. 

“It’s almost a standalone match, because the guys that’ll play there, some of them won’t play against Ireland. Therefore, I won’t point it out as a  warm-up match for the Ireland Test series; I’ll point it out as a big Test match against Wales, who’s trying to get a spark.”

In February, Erasmus invited 16 uncapped players to the alignment camp. Below is a complete list naming those 16 players who are in line to become Springboks later this year.


Ruan Venter22FlankLions
Jan-Hendrik Wessels22HookerBulls
Mpilo Gumede23FlankBulls
Henco van Wyk22CentreLions
Sanele Nohamba25Scrumhalf/flyhalfLions
Jordan Hendrikse22FlyhalfLions
Morne van den Berg26ScrumhalfLions
Cameron Hanekom21Loose forwardBulls
Quan Hỏn22FullbackLions
Johan Grabbelaar26HookerBulls
Suleiman Hartzenberg20CentreStormers
Neethling Fouche31PropStormers
Andre-Hugo Venter22HookerStormers
Marnus van der Merwe27HookerCheetahs
Ruben van Heerden26LockStormers
Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu21Flyhalf/centreStormers
Springboks future star Sanele Nohamba is kicking it with the Lions in the URC.
A smiling Sanele Nohamba. Image: Via SA Rugby website