Smith joins new faces in Springboks squad

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

South Africa Sevens star Kwagga Smith is one step closer to his Test goal, named in the Springboks June squad.

Smith is one of 17 uncapped players named in the 43-man squad that was announced on Sunday morning, ahead of June Tests against Wales and England.

The Lions flanker has been a star on the Sevens circuit for a number of years, and has transferred that form to the XVs game for the Lions this season.

With South Africa recently lifting its restriction on overseas-based players, five of the squad comes from abroad, with Bismarck du Plessis, Faf de Klerk, Duane Vermuelen, Francois Steyn and Willie le Roux all selected.

Faf De Klerk will replace Rudy Paige this weekend. Photo: Getty ImagesNew Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus will name the squad's skipper on Monday.

Erasmus said he was pleased with the mix of youth and experience in the side.

“It’s good to see how our exciting young players have grabbed their opportunities for their franchises in the last couple of months,” he said.

“But we also know how important experience is at Test level, so we thought long and hard about which players to pull in form abroad, and in the end we only settled on five who we thought consistently performed well for their clubs in the tough English and French competitions.

“I am confident that we have a strong group of players from which we will be able to select a very competitive team for each of the four Test matches in June.”

South Africa opens its June Tests against Wales in Washington on Saturday June 2, before playing a home series against England.


Forwards (24)

Nizaam Carr (loose forward, DHL Stormers, 5)

Bismarck du Plessis (hooker, Montpellier, France, 79

Dan du Preez (loose forward, Cell C Sharks, 3)

Jean-Luc du Preez (loose forward, Cell C Sharks, 10)

Pieter-Steph du Toit (lock, DHL Stormers, 32)

Thomas du Toit (prop, Cell C Sharks, uncapped)

Jason Jenkins (lock, Vodacom Bulls, uncapped)

Steven Kitshoff (prop, DHL Stormers, 23)

Siya Kolisi (loose forward, DHL Stormers, 28)

Wilco Louw (prop, DHL Stormers, 5)

Frans Malherbe (prop, DHL Stormers, 17)

Bongi Mbonambi (hooker, DHL Stormers, 14)

Oupa Mohojé (loose forward, Toyota Cheetahs 18)

Franco Mostert (lock, Emirates Lions, 18)

Tendai Mtawarira (prop, Cell C Sharks, 98)

Ox Nche (prop, Toyota Cheetahs, uncapped)

Sikhumbuzo Notshe (loose forward, DHL Stormers, uncapped)

Trevor Nyakane (prop, Vodacom Bulls, 37)

Marvin Orie (lock, Emirates Lions, uncapped)

Chiliboy Ralepelle (hooker, Cell C Sharks 23)

Kwagga Smith (loose forward, Emirates Lions, uncapped)

RG Snyman (lock, Vodacom Bulls, uncapped)

Akker van der Merwe (hooker, Cell C Sharks, uncapped)

Duane Vermeulen (loose forward, Toulon, France, 39)

Backs (19)

Lukhanyo Am (centre, Cell C Sharks, 1)

Curwin Bosch (utility back Cell C Sharks, 1)

Damian de Allende (centre, DHL Stormers, 28)

Faf de Klerk (scrumhalf, Sale Sharks, England, 11)

Robert du Preez (flyhalf, Cell C Sharks, uncapped)

Aphiwe Dyantyi (wing, Emirates Lions, uncapped)

André Esterhuizen (centre, Cell C Sharks, uncapped)

Warrick Gelant (fullback, Vodacom Bulls, 2)

Travis Ismaiel (wing, Vodacom Bulls, uncapped)

Elton Jantjies (flyhalf, Emirates Lions, 23)

Jesse Kriel (centre, Vodacom Bulls, 29)

Willie le Roux (fullback, Wasps, England, 41)

Makazole Mapimpi (wing, Cell C Sharks, uncapped)

Sibusiso Nkosi (wing, Cell C Sharks, uncapped)

Embrose Papier (scrumhalf, Vodacom Bulls, uncapped)

Handré Pollard (flyhalf, Vodacom Bulls, 26)

Frans Steyn (utility back, Montpellier, France, 56)

Ivan van Zyl (scrumhalf, Vodacom Bulls, uncapped)

Cameron Wright (scrumhalf, Cell C Sharks, uncapped)