Springbok Squad Announced for Castle Lager Incoming Series: A Deep Dive

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Erasmus names 39-man squad for Castle Lager Incoming Series.
Four uncapped players included in the Springbok squad.
Key players like Kolbe and Am return from injury.
Standby list features 14 players for squad depth.

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has unveiled a formidable 39-man squad for the upcoming Castle Lager Incoming Series. This series kicks off with two challenging Tests against Ireland on Saturday, 6 July, followed by a one-off Test against Portugal. Additionally, Erasmus named 14 players on a standby list, ensuring robust depth and preparedness.

Unveiling New Talent

Erasmus has introduced four uncapped players into the squad: Johan Grobbelaar and Jan-Hendrik Wessels from the Vodacom Bulls, Phepsi Buthelezi from the Hollywoodbets Sharks, and Morne van den Berg from the Emirates Lions. These players have shown exceptional promise in domestic leagues and are now poised to make their mark on the international stage.

Johan Grobbelaar and Jan-Hendrik Wessels: Both from the Bulls, Grobbelaar and Wessels have been standout performers in their respective positions. Wessels’ versatility, being capable of playing both prop and hooker, adds a significant strategic advantage.

Phepsi Buthelezi: The Sharks’ flanker has impressed with his dynamic play and leadership on the field, making him a valuable addition to the Springbok setup.

Morne van den Berg: The Lions’ scrumhalf, known for his quick decision-making and agility, offers a fresh option in the half-back role.

Returning Stars

The squad sees the return of several key players from injury, including Cheslin Kolbe (wing) and Lukhanyo Am (centre), who have completed their rehabilitation under the Bok medical team. Handre Pollard (flyhalf) and Jasper Wiese, although previously unavailable due to eligibility issues and suspension, respectively, are also included.

Cheslin Kolbe and Lukhanyo Am: Their return is a significant boost, bringing experience, skill, and tactical nous back into the squad.

Handre Pollard and Jasper Wiese: Pollard’s playmaking abilities and Wiese’s physical presence will be crucial in the high-stakes matches against Ireland and Portugal.

Rugby World Cup Winners

Erasmus has also recalled several Rugby World Cup winners, including Siya Kolisi, RG Snyman, Marco van Staden, Kurt-Lee Arendse, and Willie le Roux. Their inclusion not only brings experience but also a winning mentality essential for the upcoming series.

Siya Kolisi and RG Snyman: Both have been pivotal in previous campaigns, and their leadership and experience are invaluable.

Marco van Staden, Kurt-Lee Arendse, and Willie le Roux: Fresh from their Vodacom United Rugby Championship season, these players add depth and versatility to the squad.

Strategic Vision

Erasmus’s selection underscores a strategic vision aimed at building squad depth ahead of the 2027 Rugby World Cup. The inclusion of a standby squad allows for seamless integration of players in case of injuries and provides continuous exposure to international rugby.

Standby Players: The standby list features six capped Springboks and promising talents like Neethling Fouche, Andre-Hugo Venter, and Quan Horn. These players will train with the team intermittently, ensuring readiness if called upon.

Injury Concerns

Despite a strong squad, Erasmus has to contend with injuries to key players like Steven Kitshoff, Jean Kleyn, Lood de Jager, and others. However, the coach is confident in the squad’s depth and the ability of the selected players to step up.

Springbok Squad for Castle Lager Incoming Series:


  • Phepsi Buthelezi (Hollywoodbets Sharks)
  • Ben-Jason Dixon (DHL Stormers)
  • Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz)
  • Thomas du Toit (Bath)
  • Eben Etzebeth (Hollywoodbets Sharks)
  • Johan Grobbelaar (Vodacom Bulls)
  • Vincent Koch (Hollywoodbets Sharks)
  • Siya Kolisi (Racing 92)
  • Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers)
  • Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears)
  • Bongi Mbonambi (Hollywoodbets Sharks)
  • Salmaan Moerat (DHL Stormers)
  • Franco Mostert (Honda Heat)
  • Ox Nche (Hollywoodbets Sharks)
  • Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92/Hollywoodbets Sharks)
  • Evan Roos (DHL Stormers)
  • Kwagga Smith (Blu Revs)
  • RG Snyman (Munster/Leinster)
  • Gerhard Steenekamp (Vodacom Bulls)
  • Marco van Staden (Vodacom Bulls)
  • Jan-Hendrik Wessels (Vodacom Bulls)
  • Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers)


  • Lukhanyo Am (Hollywoodbets Sharks)
  • Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls)
  • Damian de Allende (Wild Knights)
  • Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles)
  • Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins/Hollywoodbets Sharks)
  • Aphelele Fassi (Hollywoodbets Sharks)
  • Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (DHL Stormers)
  • Cheslin Kolbe (Suntory Sungoliath)
  • Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles)
  • Willie le Roux (Vodacom Bulls)
  • Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers)
  • Makazole Mapimpi (Hollywoodbets Sharks)
  • Handre Pollard (Leicester Tigers)
  • Cobus Reinach (Montpellier)
  • Morne van den Berg (Emirates Lions)
  • Edwill van der Merwe (Emirates Lions)
  • Grant Williams (Hollywoodbets Sharks)

Players on Standby:


  • Jean-Luc du Preez (Sale Sharks)
  • Joseph Dweba (DHL Stormers)
  • Neethling Fouche (DHL Stormers)
  • Celimpilo Gumede (Hollywoodbets Sharks)
  • Elrigh Louw (Vodacom Bulls)
  • Wilco Louw (Vodacom Bulls)
  • Ntuthuko Mchunu (Hollywoodbets Sharks)
  • Ruben van Heerden (DHL Stormers)
  • Andre-Hugo Venter (DHL Stormers)


  • Suleiman Hartzenberg (DHL Stormers)
  • Jordan Hendrikse (Emirates Lions)
  • Ethan Hooker (Hollywoodbets Sharks)
  • Quan Horn (Emirates Lions)
  • Siya Masuku (Hollywoodbets Sharks)

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