RUGBY NEWS - It has been many months since the mighty Springboks have had international encounters, and taking on the British & Irish Lions will catch the world’s attention come 24 July.
Fans eagerly watched the 42-man Springbok announcement on Saturday, which sees the bulk of the World Cup squad ready for duty, with a number of uncapped players making it into the side.
Nienaber will have huge shoes to fill, as he replaces head coach Rassie Erasmus who took Springbok rugby to another level.
But luckily for Nienaber, he has been working hand-in-hand with Erasmus and has a well-equipped coaching and management side to back him.
Newbies include hooker Joseph Dweba, lock Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, loose forward Jasper Wiese, scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba, centre Wandisile Simelane and outside backs Aphelele Fassi, Yaw Penxe and Rosko Specman who have been in peak form for their respective club sides.
The British & Irish Lions squad, captained by Welshman Alun Wyn Jones, will kick off their South African tour with a clash against the Emirates Lions at Emirates Airline Park on 3 July at 5pm.
They will then take on the Cell C Sharks at Emirates Airline Park on 7 July at 7pm, before facing the Vodacom Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on 10 July at 5pm.
The squad will then match themselves against the South African A side at Cape Town Stadium on 14 July at 7pm, before ending their ‘warm-up tour games’ against the DHL Stormers at the Cape Town Stadium on 17 July at 5pm.
Wyn Jones and his men will then face the Springboks in the first test at Cape Town Stadium on 24 July at 5pm, in what promises to be a nail-biting showdown.
The second test is scheduled for 31 July at the FNB Stadium at 5pm, before the tour wraps up on 7 August at the FNB Stadium at 5pm.
42-man Springbok squad
- Props – Thomas du Toit, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Frans Malherbe, Ox Nché, Trevor Nyakane and Coenie Oosthuizen
- Hookers – Joseph Dweba, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi and Scarra Ntubeni
- Locks – Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Franco Mostert, Marvin Orie and RG Snyman
- Loose forwards – Daniel du Preez, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi, Kwagga Smith, Marco van Staden, Duane Vermeulen and Jasper Wiese
- Utility forwards – Jean-Luc du Preez and Rynhardt Elstadt
- Scrumhalves – Faf de Klerk, Herschel Jantjies, Sanele Nohamba and Cobus Reinach
- Fly-halves – Elton Jantjies, Handré Pollard and Morné Steyn
- Centres – Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Jesse Kriel, Wandisile Simelane, Franscois Steyn
- Outside Backs – Aphelele Fassi, Cheslin Kolbe, Willie le Roux, Makazole Mapimpi, Sbu Nkosi, Yaw Penxe, Rosko Specman and Damian Willemse