Grant Williams Springboks

Springbok scrumhalf Grant Williams. Photo: SA Rugby website.

The biggest WINNERS from the Springboks’ squad announcement

As the dust settles on the news, we take a look at the biggest winners following Jacques Nienaber’s big announcement.

Grant Williams Springboks

Springbok scrumhalf Grant Williams. Photo: SA Rugby website.

Springboks boss Jacques Nienaber has named the 33 players that will represent South Africa at the 2023 Rugby World Cup and squad includes several notable storylines.

Nienaber revealed his squad for the upcoming Rugby World Cup, giving punters plenty to digest ahead of the global showpiece.

There are, of course, some surprise inclusions and omissions in the 33-man squad, which was unveiled at a glamorous event in Johannesburg on Tuesday afternoon.

Siya Kolisi is still the designated captain, while several other bolters and/or fringe players beat the odds to secure a place in the squad.

We take a look at the players who are most fortunate to have gained selection.

ALSO READ: List of Springboks on standby for RWC spot

SPRINGBOKS’ WINNERS

JEAN KLEYN

The former Ireland international was brought into the Springbok set-up a little over two months ago and now he is on his way to play at the Rugby World Cup for the second time, but it’ll be a maiden RWC campaign for the country of his berth. The Springboks are richly blessed when it comes to locks and before injury struck, Kleyn would have been furthest down the pecking order in terms of selection. But Lood de Jager’s absence due to a mysterious illness launched Kleyn in the official 33-man squad.

COBUS REINACH/GRANT WILLIAMS

With the Springboks expected to take three scrumhalves, Reinach and Williams were in direct competition vying for that third available slot behind Faf de Klerk and Jaden Hendrikse. But with Springboks suffering several injury setbacks before the the squad announcement, coach Jacques Nienaber was forced to tweak his group. And it led to the Springboks going against the status quo of selection three scrumhalves, instead going all in with four specialist No 9s. That opened the door for both Reinach and Williams to punch their ticket to France.

MARCO VAN STADEN

The loose forward battle was one of the most hotly contested positions in the Springboks camp and any one of the contenders had a realistic shot at selection. But in Van Staden’s case, his performances of late weren’t up to scratch, while his closest competitors made the most of the far fewer opportunities afforded to them. But when all is said and done, the selectors — Nienaber and co — opted for Van Staden in an attempt to balance out their overall composition of the back row.

ALSO READ: Shock omissions in Springboks’ World Cup squad

THE OFFICIAL SQUAD

Springboks 2023 RWC squad graphic
The Springboks’ 2023 RWC squad. Photo: @SuperSportRugby via Twitter.