The Springbok’s New Season: A Blend of Experience and Fresh Talent

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springboks rugby

The new lineup of the Springboks, featuring a blend of experienced players and fresh talent, aims to prepare for the Wales Test, with no participation from Europe, the UK, and Ireland-based players. Rassie Erasmus, the Springbok coach, emphasizes the importance of introducing new players while building for the future and is optimistic about the potential of the young players to step up to top-tier international rugby. The team will face a range of formidable opponents in the 2024 season, including Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.

The Springbok’s new season presents a blend of experienced players and fresh talent, with Rassie Erasmus revealing a 35-player roster for the team’s initial training camp. The squad aims to prepare for the Wales Test, which will feature new players and no participation from Europe, the UK, and Ireland-based players. Erasmus is optimistic about the potential of the young players to step up to top-tier international rugby and laying a groundwork for the 2027 World Cup. The team will face a range of formidable opponents in the 2024 season.

New Lineup Announcement

Rassie Erasmus, the Springbok coach, recently unveiled a 35-player roster for the team’s initial official training camp of the season, scheduled to kick off in Pretoria. The squad’s primary task will be their inaugural season-opening Test against Wales on the 22nd of June, a highly anticipated event for which over 60,000 tickets have already been purchased.

2024: A Promising Season

The forthcoming 2024 season appears promising for the Springboks, whose season opener will be held later this month against Wales at Twickenham, London. The selected squad presents an exciting blend of experienced players from the World Cup-winning teams of 2023 and 2019, along with 11 budding stars from various local teams. These new additions, having shown exceptional performances in their respective competitions this season, include Jordan Hendrikse, Quan Horn, Edwill van der Merwe, and Morne van den Berg, representing the Lions. From the Hollywoodbets Sharks, Phepsi Buthelezi, Siya Masuku, and Ethan Hooker have made the cut. The Stormers’ representation includes Ben-Jason Dixon, Sacha Feinberg-Mgomezulu, Neethling Fouche, and Andre-Hugo Venter.

However, the squad for the Wales Test will not feature players from Europe, the UK, and Ireland. As a result, Siya Kolisi, the Springbok skipper based in France, will not be participating, leading to the impending announcement of a new captain by Erasmus. Additionally, the semi-finalists from the Bulls in the United Rugby Championship will not be considered for this squad.

Squad Composition and Player Availability

The squad maintains a balance with 19 forwards and 16 backs. The lineup includes Rugby World Cup-winning flyhalf Handre Pollard and No 8 Jasper Wiese, who are both currently serving a six-week ban. While they will partake in the training, their selection is only possible post the Wales Test.

The team also features players from the newly crowned EPCR Challenge Cup champions, the Hollywoodbets Sharks, the Lions and the Stormers, who concluded their competition run earlier against the Glasgow Warriors. Players based in Japan also find a spot in the squad.

Ethan Hooker and Van der Merwe are the sole selected players who did not engage in the Springbok alignment sessions in March and May, and the virtual alignment camp hosted early in May.

Erasmus’ Emphasis on Experience and Youth

Erasmus, highlighting the selection, expressed that it is a well-curated blend of seasoned players and emerging talent. He has confidence in the potential of these young players to step up to the level of top-tier international rugby. He expressed his delight at the eagerness and readiness to learn displayed by the players during the alignment camps.

Given that players based in Europe, the UK, and Ireland will be unavailable for the Wales Test, Erasmus foresees several players making their first Test appearances. He believes that the time spent in camp and on-field training will put them and the team in a strong position for this season and lay a solid groundwork for the 2027 World Cup in Australia.

Erasmus restated the significance of introducing new players while building for the future. He is optimistic that the current batch of young players gaining Test experience will yield benefits in the future via the depth they are adding to the squad. While acknowledging that some players missed out on selection this time, he assured them that opportunities might present themselves in the future.

Regrettably, injuries have sidelined Steven Kitshoff, Lood de Jager, and Jaden Hendrikse from the squad.

Upcoming Matches and Future Prospects

Following their Test against Wales, the Springboks will take part in the Incoming Series, where they will face the world’s second-ranked team, Ireland, in back-to-back Tests in Pretoria and Durban on the 6th and 13th of July, respectively. The team will then make history by playing their first-ever Test against Portugal in Bloemfontein on 20th July.

In the latter part of the season, the Springboks will square off against Australia in Brisbane and Perth on the 10th and 17th of August, respectively, followed by back-to-back matches against their long-standing rivals, New Zealand, in Johannesburg and Cape Town on 31st August and 7th September. The Springboks will then travel to Argentina to face the Pumas in Santiago on 21st September and then in Nelspruit on 28th September.

The year-end tour will comprise Tests against Scotland, England, and Wales on 9th, 16th, and 23rd November respectively. This exhaustive and challenging tour will undoubtedly test the Springboks’ resilience and their preparation for the 2027 World Cup in Australia.

The Springbok training squad, featuring a combination of seasoned and emerging talent, all eager to make their mark on this season’s games and beyond, sets the stage for a thrilling 2024 season. The team will face a range of formidable opponents as they build towards the future.

1. Who is the coach of the Springboks?

The coach of the Springboks is Rassie Erasmus.

2. Who will the Springboks be facing in their season opener?

The Springboks will be facing Wales in their season opener.

3. Will players based in Europe, the UK, and Ireland participate in the Wales Test?

No, players based in Europe, the UK, and Ireland will not participate in the Wales Test.

4. Which players will be part of the Springbok squad for the Wales Test?

The Springbok squad for the Wales Test includes a blend of experienced players and fresh talent, with a total of 35 players. Notable players include Handre Pollard and Jasper Wiese.

5. What other matches will the Springboks play in the upcoming season?

After their match against Wales, the Springboks will face Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina, among others.

6. What is the coach’s emphasis when selecting players for the Springboks?

The coach emphasizes a balance between experienced players and emerging talent, with a focus on building for the future. He is optimistic about the potential of the young players to step up to the level of top-tier international rugby.

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