Springboks Springbok World Cup transformation

The Springboks during a training session. Photo: SA Rugby website.

Springboks: Two shock omissions, but there is hope for others

Two locally-based players are extremely unfortunate to have missed out on Springbok selection, but all may not be lost for some others.

Springboks Springbok World Cup transformation

The Springboks during a training session. Photo: SA Rugby website.

When dissecting the Springboks’ first Test ‘training squad’ of the year, there are certainly some noteworthy omissions among a host of interesting inclusions.

There can’t be too many complaints about the somewhat experimental 35-man squad Rassie Erasmus has opted to select, but two locally-based players are certainly very unfortunate to have missed out.

Sanele Nohamba has been one of the standout players in South Africa this past season, although he perhaps hasn’t maintained quite the same standards set over the first half of the campaign.

It’s unclear whether Nohamba was omitted due to a recent head knock suffered while playing for the Lions, or if he just doesn’t currently fit into the Springbok coaches’ plans.

Similarly, powerful lock Ruben van Heerden has enjoyed a really impressive season for the Stormers, having established himself as a vital cog in the forward pack.

Able to play in either the No 4 or No 5 jersey, Van Heerden has stepped up this season and taken responsibility for calling the lineouts, as well as emerging as one of the players at the top of the statistics for tackles made.

With this in mind, it’s another surprise to have seen him miss out on selection in the wider Springbok group.

Three other Springbok omissions to note, but hope it not lost

When it comes to players based overseas, prop Thomas du Toit, loose forward Juarno Augustus and utility back Tyrone Green have all enjoyed outstanding seasons for their English clubs.

Some have questioned why this trio have not earned call-ups, but it is worth remembering that players based in Europe, the UK and Ireland will not be considered for the Boks’ first Test of the season against Wales that falls outside of the international window.

Du Toit and Augustus could certainly add real value to the Springboks’ depth up front, while Green would be a suitable player to call up as Cheslin Kolbe may be sidelined with a knee injury.

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Forwards: Phepsi Buthelezi (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Joseph Dweba, Ben-Jason Dixon (both DHL Stormers), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz), Eben Etzebeth (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Neethling Fouche (DHL Stormers), Vincent Koch (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Celimpilo Gumede (Bulls), Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers), Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears), Bongi Mbonambi (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Ntuthuko Mchunu (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Salmaan Moerat (DHL Stormers), Franco Mostert (Honda Heat), Ox Nche (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Evan Roos (DHL Stormers), Kwagga Smith (Blu Revs), Andre-Hugo Venter (DHL Stormers), Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers).

Backs: Damian de Allende (Panasonic Wild Knights), Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles), Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins), Aphelele Fassi (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Jordan Hendrikse (Emirates Lions), Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (DHL Stormers), Ethan Hooker (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Quan Horn (Emirates Lions), Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles), Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers), Makazole Mapimpi, Siya Masuku (both Hollywoodbets Sharks), Handre Pollard (Leicester Tigers), Morne van den Berg (Emirates Lions), Edwill van der Merwe (Emirates Lions), Grant Williams (Hollywoodbets Sharks).