Fresh faced trio named for Springboks

The Rugby Championship
by AAP

Flyhalf Damian Willemse is one of three uncapped players in South Africa's squad for the Rugby Championship.

The 20-year-old Willemse was joined by uncapped flankers Cyle Brink and Marco van Staden in a squad of 35 announced Monday by coach Rassie Erasmus.

Erasmus also recalled hooker Malcolm Marx, No.8 Warren Whiteley, scrumhalf Ross Cronje and centre Lionel Mapoe, all members of the Lions team that reached Saturday's Super Rugby final. They didn't play any part in South Africa's series win over England in June, Erasmus' first assignment in charge.

Erasmus decided that flanker Siya Kolisi will keep the Springboks captaincy despite the return from injury of Whiteley, the regular skipper last season.

Experienced lock Eben Etzebeth also returned from injury to take his place in the squad. Etzebeth hasn't played this year.Willemse is one of three fresh faces in the Springboks fold. Photo: Getty ImagesWillemse has been earmarked as a future Springboks flyhalf since making his Super Rugby debut at 18. He will be the understudy to first-choice No.10 Handre Pollard and backup Elton Jantjies.

Brink, a powerful blindside flanker, was one of the Johannesburg-based Lions' form players this season while the hard-tackling van Staden has a growing reputation at the Pretoria-based Bulls.

Erasmus added Bath flanker Francois Louw to his contingent of overseas-based players. Scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and fullback Willie le Roux, who also play in England, are in the squad after being recalled from international exile by Erasmus in June.

Backs Damian de Allende, S'busiso Nkosi and Warrick Gelant, and forwards Lood de Jager, Trevor Nyakane and Coenie Oosthuizen were left out because of injury.

South Africa's first game of the Rugby Championship is against Argentina in Durban on August 18.

The Springboks play Australia on September 8 in Brisbane and in Port Elizabeth on September 29.

The Wallabies host the Springboks in Brisbane on Saturday September 8, kicking off at 8:05pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RADIO. Buy tickets here.


South Africha squad for 


Cyle Brink

Jean-Luc du Preez

Pieter-Steph du Toit 
Thomas du Toit

Eben Etzebeth

Steven Kitshoff

Siya Kolisi (capt)

Francois Louw 

Wilco Louw

Frans Malherbe

Malcolm Marx

Bongi Mbonambi

Franco Mostert

Tendai Mtawarira

Sikhumbuzo Notshe

Marvin Orie

RG Snyman

Akker van der Merwe

Marco van Staden

Warren Whiteley


Lukhanyo Am

Ross Cronje

Faf de Klerk 

Aphiwe Dyantyi

Andre Esterhuizen

Elton Jantjies

Jesse Kriel

Willie le Roux

Makazole Mapimp

Lionel Mapoe

Lwazi Mvovo

Embrose Papier

Handre Pollard

Ivan van Zyl

Damian Willemse