Handré Pollard, Rudy Paige, Marcel van der Merwe, Bongi Mbonambi invited to Stellenbosch training camp
Following the elimination of the Cell C Sharks and the Vodacom Blue Bulls from the Absa Currie Cup and the conclusion of the First Division, eight more players have been invited to the Springboks’ training camp in Stellenbosch.
The Springbok selectors have invited Lwazi Mvovo, Cobus Reinach, Lourens Adriaanse (all Cell C Sharks), Handré Pollard, Rudy Paige, Marcel van der Merwe, Bongi Mbonambi (all Vodacom Blue Bulls) and Boela Abrahams, who starred for the Down Touch Griffons in their Absa Currie Cup First Division final victory on Friday, to join 20 nationally contracted players and four others as the team start their preparations for what will be an arduous Castle Lager Outgoing Tour.
The 32 players at the training camp will want to use this opportunity to show the Springbok selectors what they can do before the squad of 36 for the tour is finalised.
Players from the two teams who will contest the Absa Currie Cup Final this weekend, DHL Western Province and the Xerox Golden Lions, who do not have national contracts were not considered for the camp.
“We’re still contemplating certain positions and this is an ideal opportunity to see what these guys can do,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
“Our situation at scrumhalf is not ideal – Fourie du Preez is out for the season and we’re awaiting more information on Ruan Pienaar’s injury, while Cobus Reinach missed the Currie Cup semi-final because of injury.
“We’ve decided to cast the net wide and invite Rudy and Boela, also to introduce them to the to the Springbok culture and ethos as two promising youngsters.
“Most of the players have been part of our set-up before, but for others this will be their first involvement with the Springboks. While I’m sure they will want to use this opportunity to impress, we’d also like to get to know them better and see what they are capable of before finalising the squad.”
The final squad for the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour will be announced on Monday, 27 October before the players gather for a pre-departure camp in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 29 October.
Players invited to Stellenbosch training camp: Boela Abrahams (scrumhalf), Lourens Adriaanse (prop), Willem Alberts (loose forward), Marcell Coetzee (loose forward), Damian de Allende (centre/wing), Lood de Jager (lock), Jean de Villiers (centre), Bismarck du Plessis (hooker), Jannie du Plessis (prop), JJ Engelbrecht (centre/wing), Eben Etzebeth (lock), Lizo Gqoboka (prop), Cornal Hendricks (wing), Francois Hougaard (scrumhalf), Siya Kolisi (loose forward), Patrick Lambie (flyhalf/fullback), Willie le Roux (fullback/wing), Victor Matfield (lock), Bongi Mbonambi (hooker), Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje (loose forward), Tendai Mtawarira (prop), Lwazi Mvovo (wing), Trevor Nyakane (prop), Coenie Oosthuizen (prop), Rudy Paige (scrumhalf), Handré Pollard (flyhalf), Cobus Reinach (scrumhalf), Jan Serfontein (centre), Adriaan Strauss (hooker), Flip van der Merwe (lock), Marcel van der Merwe (prop) and Duane Vermeulen (No 8).