All Blacks Squad for 2017 DHL NZ Lions Series

The All Blacks selectors, Steve Hansen, Ian Foster and Grant Fox, have selected their squad for the Pasifika Challenge Test against Samoa and the three Tests against the British & Irish Lions in the DHL New Zealand Lions Series.

The squad is as follows: (with province and Test caps in brackets. New caps are in bold.)

Forwards:
Hookers
Dane Coles (Wellington, 49)
Codie Taylor (Canterbury, 15)
Nathan Harris (Bay of Plenty, 4)

Props
Wyatt Crockett (Canterbury, 58)
Charlie Faumuina (Auckland, 46)
Owen Franks (Canterbury, 90)
Joe Moody (Canterbury, 24)
Ofa Tu’ungafasi (Auckland, 4)

Locks
Scott Barrett (Taranaki, 4)
Brodie Retallick (Hawke’s Bay, 60)
Luke Romano (Canterbury, 26)
Samuel Whitelock (Canterbury, 84)

Loose Forwards
Sam Cane (Bay of Plenty, 40)
Jerome Kaino (Auckland, 74)
Kieran Read, captain (Counties Manukau, 97)
Ardie Savea (Wellington, 12)
Liam Squire (Tasman, 8)

Backs:

Halfbacks
Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Waikato, 25)
TJ Perenara (Wellington, 29)
Aaron Smith (Manawatu, 58)

First five-eighths
Beauden Barrett (Taranaki, 49)
Aaron Cruden (Manawatu, 47)
Lima Sopoaga (Southland, 6)

Midfielders
Ryan Crotty (Canterbury, 26)
Ngani Laumape (Manawatu, uncapped)
Anton Leinert-Brown (Waikato, 9)
Sonny Bill Williams (Counties Manukau, 33)

Outside backs
Jordie Barrett (Taranaki, uncapped)
Israel Dagg (Hawke’s Bay, 61)
Rieko Ioane (Auckland, 2)
Waisake Naholo (Taranaki, 12)
Julian Savea (Wellington, 52)
Ben Smith (Otago, 60)

The selectors have also named the following five players as injury cover: midfielder Jack Goodhue, hooker Liam Coltman and loose forwards Matt Todd, Vaea Fifita and Akira Ioane.

The key features of the 33-man squad are the selection of two new All Blacks: exciting young Hurricanes midfielder Ngani Laumape and talented teammate Jordie Barrett, who toured with the team as an apprentice on the All Blacks’ Northern Hemisphere Tour last year.

QUICK TAP: MAORI ALL BLACKS NAMED FOR DHL LIONS SERIES 2017

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “Firstly, on behalf of the All Blacks, the selectors would like to congratulate all players selected for the DHL New Zealand Lions Series, especially the new All Blacks.

“Obviously, it’s a very special occasion for the Barrett and Laumape families, with Jordie and Ngani being selected for the first time. Jordie has been in outstanding form, he has a skillset which is complete and has a great running and kicking game. Ngani too has been impressive throughout the Super season and has forced his way in through commanding performances,” Hansen said.

“This has been by far the toughest team that we’ve had to select for some time and some players who are in very good form missed out, and we always feel for them. But as is the nature of Test rugby I’m sure a number of them will get an opportunity, if not in this Series, then throughout the season.”

“We’re really appreciative of the opportunity to play Samoa first up. The Samoan game is ideal in preparing us for the challenge that comes with the Lions.

“We see the DHL New Zealand Lions Series as a great opportunity to gauge where we’re at from both an individual and a team perspective. As always, we’ll look forward to growing our game, as we know that if we don’t keep improving, others will go past us.

“We’re excited by the uniqueness that comes with playing a Lions Series as it only comes around every 12 years.”

The squad will again be captained by number eight Kieran Read with Ben Smith as Vice-Captain, and the makeup of the squad sees 17 forwards selected (three hookers, five props, four locks and five loose forwards) and 16 backs (three halfbacks, three first five-eighths, three midfielders and six outside backs) and has a total of 1,164 Test caps experience and an average of 35 Test caps per player.

Jordie, Beauden and Scott Barrett are the first sibling trio to be named in the same All Blacks squad and will be just the fourth set of three brothers to play for the All Blacks, following the Brownlie and Nicholls brothers in the 1920s and the Whitelocks in recent years.

The All Blacks squad has a Super Rugby mix of five Blues players, six Chiefs, seven Hurricanes, 10 Crusaders and five Highlanders, while 11 of New Zealand’s provincial unions are represented, with seven Canterbury players, four each from Wellington, Auckland and Taranaki, three from Manawatu, two each from Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and Counties Manukau and one each from Southland, Otago and Tasman.

Mini biographies – Jordie Barrett and Ngani Laumape

Jordie Barrett

Born into a rugby-mad family on 15 February 1997, 20-year-old Jordie Barrett is the younger brother of Hurricanes first-five Beauden and Crusaders lock Scott and is one of eight Barrett siblings. His Dad Kevin “Smiley” Barrett played 167 games for Taranaki and also played for the Hurricanes. Jordie has been tagged for big things since his days at Francis Douglas Memorial College. A talented fast bowler in cricket, good enough to be 12th man for the Central Stags after he left school, he chose rugby and headed down south to Lincoln University to study Commerce. It wasn’t long before the rangy utility found himself in the Canterbury representative system, the New Zealand Under 20s, and then in 2017, after just one year of Mitre 10 Cup rugby, in the Hurricanes. He also toured with the All Blacks as an apprentice in 2016. Barrett can play first-five, second-five or fullback as well as being a handy goal kicker.

Ngani Laumape

Born on 22 April 1993 in Palmerston North, 24-year-old Ngani Laumape attended Palmerston North Boys’ High School. He toured the UK and Thailand with the school’s First XV and was selected to play second-five for the New Zealand Secondary Schools team in 2011. Despite his success, he made the decision to sign with the Warriors rugby league team when he left school and by 2014 he was an established starter in the squad. The following year he investigated a return to rugby and he made his Investec Super Rugby debut for the Hurricanes in the opening match of the 2016 season. He went on to make 11 appearances, including seven starts, to help the Hurricanes to the club’s inaugural Super Rugby title. His strong performances in 2017 saw him lead the competition early for line breaks and defenders beaten and he’s currently joint leader on the competition try scoring table with 14 tries.

Pasifika Challenge

ALL BLACKS v MANU SAMOA. Friday 16 June, 8.00PM, Eden Park, AUCKLAND

DHL New Zealand Lions Series – limited tickets still available
1. FIRST TEST. Saturday 24 June, 7.35PM, Eden Park, AUCKLAND
2. SECOND TEST. Saturday 1 July, 7.35PM, Westpac Stadium, WELLINGTON
3. THIRD TEST. Saturday 8 July, 7.35PM, Eden Park, AUCKLAND

source ALLBLACKS.COM 08 JUN 2017 ADIDAS NEW ZEALAND

Blues silence Lions’ roar after fumbly Eden Park clash A torrid tour looks longer by the day.

Ihaia West’s late try gave the Blues a famous win over the British and Irish Lions.

It took all of 74 minutes but the difference between New Zealand rugby and the Lions eventually came to the fore.

Creativity, endeavour and offloads saw the Blues record a historic 22-16 triumph over the tourists at Eden Park, piling the pressure on Warren Gatland.

Watch it again and again if you can. Down by one point with time running out, Steven Luatua, in his final home match for the Blues, delivers a silky offload to Sonny Bill Williams who does likewise for Ihaia West. The out-of-favour Blues playmaker turns hero to scoot around two Lions defenders and race under the bar. It was brilliant, but not totally unexpected when it comes to New Zealand rugby.

Lions assistant coach Rob Howley described these sort of plays as ‘rugby chaos’. When it comes off like this, it is more like rugby romance. This was a magic moment.

The Lions still had one final shot to win it but they botched a lineout five metres out from the Blues line, robbing them of the chance to rumble over again. The Blues kicked the ball into touch and erupted. As did most of the 40,000 that packed the stands.

While the Blues are the first Super Rugby team to face – and beat – the Lions, they also follow the Auckland provincial team’s to knock over the same opposition on the same ground in 1930, 1983 and 1993. Memorable indeed.

Three-tries-to-one is reason enough to say the Blues deserved to win. That they did it with a scrum that was pinged off the park only enhances their claims.

Gatland’s men deserve credit for showing character to not concede with Liam Williams in the bin. But they again offered little on attack and now face the prospect of taking on the All Black-laden Crusaders pack three days later in Christchurch. Good luck with that.

Rieko Ioane starred on the left wing for the Blues, scoring one try and being denied two others. Once he had a foot in touch; the other was pulled back for a forward pass. But he was lethal with every touch.

Williams took a major step up on attack and defence, putting in countless tackles. But this was a collective effort from the Blues.

Over their jet-lag, the Lions arrived with much more energy than their first outing in Whangarei. Not that it was hard to improve from such a low starting point. Their line speed and rush defence frequently knocked the Blues ball carries back and made it difficult to get go-forward. One big hit from Courtney Lawes on Stephen Perofeta summed up their intent and aggression to shut down time and space.

But, on a wet Auckland night, the Lions also showed their hand and potentially lack of aerobic fitness by attempting to slow the pace at every opportunity – walking slowly to each lineout in especially.

Perofeta, in his first start for the Blues at No 10, did not look overawed. Twice he backed his instincts to throw ambitious long passes that put Ioane away, one of which resulted in the opening try. The 20-year-old made a try-saving tackle on Jared Payne; one cross field kick found Matt Duffie, and his touch line kicking was also generally sound. He dropped one ball on his own line under pressure but, otherwise, lived up to the hype in the biggest occasion of his career.

It was not an easy night but the composed nature of his 50-minute shift saw him receive a warm reception when replaced by West.

In the face of Warrenball criticism this week, the Lions offloaded at times and turned down two shots at goal in favour of backing their rolling maul. The Blues tried but failed to stop the second crack, conceding a try to CJ Stander. But, despite their dominance of possession, the Lions again created few genuine chances. Their maul still appears the greatest weapon.

Pressure, patience and phases did not translate into points, though french referee Pascal Guzere did the Lions few favours.

The Blues defence, strong all season, again held firm.

Tana Umaga’s men battled to get their share of the pill, partly because their scrum was a shambles and their lineout struggled to win clean ball. But they always looked more dangerous when they did control possession, much more so in the second half.

Halfback Rhys Webb and Stander were among the Lions’ best. English locks Maro Itoje and Lawes were strong, too. But given what’s to come, Gatland will again be forced to clutch for positives.

A torrid tour looks longer by the day.

Scorers:

Blues: (Rieko Ioane, Sonny Bill Williams, Ihaia West tries, Stephen Perofeta con, Ihaia West pen, con )

Lions: (CJ Stander try, Leigh Halfpenny con, pen 3)

HT: 12-10

– Stuff

COETZEE MUST ATTACK TO WIN OR GO

It chills me to the marrow of my bones when I hear Springbok coach Allister Coetzee saying that the Springboks will have the “right balance between attack and defence” in the imminent series against France.

What is the “right balance”? Does that mean that there is a blackboard in the team room where the coach says: “when you are in this part of the field you kick and do not attack, and when you are in this area of the field you keep the ball and have a full go?”

I just hope that the Springboks of 2017 do not have this paint-by-numbers approach and that Coetzee has learned from the trendsetters in world rugby – the Super Rugby teams from New Zealand — that defend when they have to, but attack from anywhere in the field should the situation entice them to.

When they have ball in hand, they have no fear. The Kiwi teams do not play according to a pre-determined game plan that says “when you are in this part of the field you ‘do this’ and when you are in that part of the field ‘you do that’.”

The (Ellis Park) Lions are the South African team that most replicates the Kiwi pattern, with the Stormers not far behind when it comes to attack.

The modern game is about fluidity on attack and steadfastness on defence. You tackle for your life when you have to, but a player must have the vigilance to know that when he has the ball, he must offload the ball to a player in space.

The New Zealanders read the situation. They play what is front of them, and if they spot that they have a player or two in space outside of them, they exploit the situation.

South African teams generally like to bash their way into a situation where they have momentum, and then move the ball, but opposition defences are almost always waiting in anticipation.

It does not have to be that way for our players. If you have numbers and space to your advantage, for heavens’ sake, capitalise on it.

It should not matter where you are on the field. You can be behind your posts and if a turnover spits out a ball that gives you not only surprise over the opposition but numerical advantage, you can attack and score at the other end of the field. We have seen the Cheetahs do this regularly, as have all the New Zealand teams.

The Cheetahs are the best exponent of this in Super Rugby, sometimes even better than the Aussies and Kiwis, and we should be encouraged that their coach, Franco Smith, is the Bok attack coach, even if his team is terrible on defence.

On that latter count, Coetzee has one of the best rugby brains in the business in defence coach Brendan Venter.

On paper, we have Smith coaching the Boks to be fearless on attack and to play the situation in front of them while Venter ensures that the defence structure is sound.

But in charge of this is Coetzee, a coach that was found wanting at the Stormers when he was too conservative on attack, resulting in a hugely talented Stormers team under-performing for a number of years.

Coetzee’s (curious) reward was ultimately the position of Springbok coach, and we saw how that worked out in 2016 — four wins out of 12 and a disgraceful first-ever defeat to Italy.

If Springbok rugby is to be rejuvenated then Coetzee has to allow Smith to do what he does so well on attack and Venter to shore up the defences, but most of all Coetzee has to be brave enough to allow his players to give it horns when the attack is on.

The Springboks will continue to implode if they play Coetzee’s conservative rugby, and if he cannot see the trees for the woods, and the Boks continue to lose by playing nonsensical rugby, then the sooner he goes the better.

By Mike Greenaway

ENDS

One Love Manchester some thoughts

How did they do this?

We haven’t had this spirit here since 2001, when Jimmy Iovine used his network of superstars to present a televised concert that was roadblocked on all channels and evidenced the gravitas and grief we were all feeling while at the same time giving us hope.

But that was sixteen years ago.

A lot has happened in the interim. The internet was supposed to kill the music business, disincentivize anybody to produce, little did we know just the opposite would come true, that everybody would produce and we’d be overloaded with music and that streaming/on demand would win and the sound everybody would want to hear is hip-hop and pop, in that order. Not that the old farts like it. They’re still clinging to their CDs and their downloads, still carping that the album is the thing and they want to jet back to yesteryear but a generation even younger than the millennials doesn’t care. I’m not saying that music drives the culture the same way it did way back when, but I am saying it touches today’s fans dramatically and they go nowhere without it, it’s always in the background.

But the scene is fractured. There’s the youth market and chaos.

And believe me, the youth know the game. They’re the anti-oldsters, they’re producing all the time, uploading to YouTube, making Snapchat Stories, and putting out singles, knowing that you live and die on the track.

And showing up and putting on this amazing concert in Manchester seemingly minutes since the tragedy, just a night after another tragedy. America was staying home, scared witless back in 2001, like a terrorist was gonna come knock on their front door, but in Manchester the same people who went to the ill-fated show showed up again. Because they know life is for the living. And once you kowtow to the forces, once you run scared, you’ve already lost.

I winced when I heard Bieber invoke the name of God. Isn’t that how we got into this mess? Have we learned nothing in hundreds of years? Can we leave the deity out of it? But no one ever accused pop stars of being smart.

But you’ve got to give credit to Scooter Braun, he’s very smart, he pulled this thing off.

Oldsters say no. Oldsters are about the money. Oldsters are scared.

But Scooter and his team made it happen, just that fast.

credit -Getty Images

Oldsters would have canceled after last night’s shenanigans. Oldsters wouldn’t have even committed. But no one flaked, everybody did their duty and the crowd loved it, what an INSPIRATION!

Not that everybody in America was aware, because we were praying to our true deity, sports, the NBA Finals took precedence. This show should have been roadblocked on every channel, just like in 2001, because contrary to our nitwit President we live in the age of globalization. Our pop stars are their pop stars and vice versa, we’re all in it together, but somehow America thinks it can go it alone.

It can’t.

Just like cities, states and corporations have committed to meeting the Paris climate standards on their own, these pop stars stood up for not only their art, but the American Way. You know what the American Way is? FREEDOM! Freedom to make your music and sing it and perform it and have others enjoy it, unfettered by hatred. And they might have terrorists in the U.K., but it’s America that is the land of hatred, where we cannot accept our brother, where we keep pointing our finger at perceived enemies, the immigrant, the person of color, the one with the different faith and I’m not saying the U.K. is completely absent these elements but we here are a couple of years and a couple of changes behind their society, they’ve been dealing with immigration and terrorism for years, but they soldier on.

If only we could have a concert like this in the U.S.

If only we could have a nationally televised event like Glastonbury.

If only we could rally around our music instead of arguing that others have the wrong taste. We’re a nation of exclusion instead of inclusion, and One Love was just that, about LOVE!

It’s the only way to keep us together.

And I could criticize the acts and the performances but that would be missing the point.

The point is these people showed up. They were unafraid, both onstage and off. They showed that nothing can stop our music, our love of the arts, our need to celebrate our unity.

This was not an old wave enterprise with a multi-month lead-up, with hype in every publication and faux interviews and all the detritus that detracts. No, there was an announcement just days before, the excitement never died down, it percolated and then built. No one was out of the loop. Because the word was spread online, those who truly cared found out, that’s how it is in the new game, marketing is ineffective. Which is why young stars release their work unannounced. Which is why young stars are accessible online. Which is why young stars resonate with their audience, they’re AVAILABLE!

You could learn something from today’s extravaganza.

Like where there’s a will there’s a way.

And people will step up for a cause.

And it’s not the baby boomers’ business anymore, the millennials have taken over, with a different ethos, one of honesty instead of duplicity, one of can-do as opposed to can-not, one of knowing when to charge and when not to, knowing that money is not everything, but image, credibility and the MUSIC are key!

There was no victory lap, only music.

Well done.

Kudos.

By Bob Lefsetz

Will Allister Coetzee still be coach for Boks come 2019 Rugby World Cup

One year ago, Allister Coetzee picked a starting line-up to play Ireland that lost the first Test match of a home series, and a year later here is Allister again, picking a squad that pessimists will reckon will battle to win the three-Test-series against France.

Let us look at this with perceptive. Of the team that started in the first Test against Ireland a year ago, only six players remain that started against Ireland that will be in contention for the first Test against France in Pretoria. They are amongst a bunch of Tendai Mtawarira, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi, Duane Vermeulen, Damian de Allende, Elton Janjies, Rudy Paige, Warren Whiteley and Jesse Kriel.

So it looks like the Boks are starting again. And that is not a bad thing given the results of 2016 – just four wins out of 12. Despairingly poor, and Allister Coetzee should have been forced to resign on the spot at the end of the November tour, as should have been the Saru committee that appointed him.

The way I see it, this Springbok squad is a decent mix of the good the bad and the ugly but it certainly does not tell me that it is going to win the World Cup in Japan.

I say that with the best respects to the players.

I think this is because the Bok squad is not headed by a commanding coaching staff and we have to be morons if we as South Africans expect to win the World Cup in 2019 with the current status quo.

Call me a traitor, but a part of me wants the Boks to lose the series against France. I hate losing as much as any South African but I honestly believe that Springbok rugby is marking time. In fact, I would say that the current Bok set-up resembles a person drowning out at sea.

In my opinion, the Boks are not going to win the World Cup in Japan under Allister Coetzee and that the sooner there is an ambulance job at coaching level the better.

I think that a coach such as John Mitchell could sort out the mess should the Boks lose at home to France..

Again, I do believe that most of the newcomers that were announced in the squad of 31 yesterday are there on merit, but I also believe that this squad will probably lose to France and most certainly will not make the semi-finals of the next World Cup.

Springbok rugby needs change. The players that Allister Coetzee have picked are mostly there on merit. But this squad is mediocre at best. The coaching staff does not give reason for optimism, and the usual good feeling that goes with the new Bok selection of the year could very quickly give way to some serious overhaul of the Bok set-up some two and half years away from the World Cup.

By Mike Greenaway

Who is Warren Whiteley the Springbok captain ?

He only found out on Monday evening that he was to be appointed as the next Springbok captain, so new skipper Warren Whiteley was understandably excited about the very big responsibility that comes with this important role.

( credit Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images)

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee named Whiteley, who has captained the Emirates Lions in more than 50 Vodacom Super Rugby matches, as national captain on Tuesday in Johannesburg. He will start in this role in the forthcoming Castle Lager Incoming Series against France next month.

The 29-year-old Whiteley said he was surprised by Coetzee’s decision to make him the next Springbok captain, but that he was grateful for the opportunity and relished the challenge to lead the team.

“I only found out last night, when I had my usual one-on-one talk with Coach Allister,” said Whiteley.

“We had a longer than usual chat, and we talked about a lot of things, not just rugby. I was quite surprised and he told me to go and discuss it with my family and make a decision. I went home and discussed it with my wife, Felicity, who was shocked really but also very proud.”

Whiteley has led the Johannesburg-based Emirates Lions with success for the past few seasons. He played for the Cell C Sharks and Eastern Province before moving to Johannesburg in 2010.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity and will embrace this huge challenge,” said Whiteley.

“I know what the team and the Springbok brand means for our country and its people, and to be appointed as captain is a real honour and a privilege.”

Whiteley, a member of the Commonwealth Games gold-medal winning Blitzbok squad in 2014, said he was fortunate to be able to call on a strong group of leaders within the Springbok squad, such as Duane Vermeulen, Beast Mtawarira, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi and Oupa Mohoje.

“They are all proven and respected leaders at their clubs and franchise teams, and it is very comforting for me as a leader to be able to call on the advice of such players,” he said.

“I’ve always enjoyed decision-making roles, but the Springbok captaincy is a completely different challenge. I am excited about the job and I shall embrace the responsibility and huge challenge.”

Brief fact-file:
Full name: Warren Roger Whiteley
Date and Place of Birth: 18 September 1987, Durban
Education: Glenwood High School (Durban) and the Sharks Academy
Springbok number: 863
Test debut: 6 September 2014 vs Australia in Perth aged 26
Total Tests: 15 (three tries)
Tour matches: 1
Total Springbok matches: 16
Other: Springbok Sevens (2012-2014)

Issued by SA Rugby Communications

Warren Whiteley named Springbok captain for 2017

· Eight uncapped players in 31-man squad to face France

· Recalls for Steyn, Serfontein, Hougaard, Vermeulen, Oosthuizen and Ralepelle

Warren Whiteley from the Lions has been named the 58th Springbok captain and will get his first opportunity to lead the team when a much-changed squad, which includes eight uncapped players, gets together for the Incoming Series against France at a training camp in Plettenberg Bay next week.

The national selectors also recalled six experienced players to the squad.

They are Rugby World Cup winner Frans Steyn, Jan Serfontein, Francois Hougaard, Duane Vermeulen, Coenie Oosthuizen and Chiliboy Ralepelle.

They have more than 200 Test caps of experience between them.

Of the eight uncapped players in the squad, six are backs and two play in the forwards.

They are Lukhanyo Am, Andries Coetzee, Ross Cronje, Dillyn Leyds, Raymond Rhule, Courtnall Skosan, Ruan Dreyer and Lizo Gqoboka.

Four of these, Rhule, Cronje, Dreyer and Gqoboka have previously toured with the Boks, but are yet to play in a Test match for South Africa.

The squad, which consists of 18 forwards and 13 backs, was announced by SA Rugby President Mr Mark Alexander in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The Springboks will face France on Saturday 10 June at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, followed by Tests at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban (17 June) and Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg (24 June).

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee also announced the appointment of Whiteley as Springbok captain for the forthcoming June internationals.

The Emirates Lions No 8 succeeds Adriaan Strauss, who retired from Test rugby at the end of last season.

The 31-man Springbok squad will assemble on Monday, 29 May for a week-long camp in Plettenberg Bay before moving camp to Pretoria where they will fine-tune final preparations for the first Test.

Steyn, who plays for French side Montpellier and was a member of the 2007 Rugby World Cup winning squad, last featured in a Springbok Test in 2012, while Ralepelle is back in the Bok squad after four years – his last Test was in 2013.

Serfontein was injured and missed the entire 2016 season, while Oosthuizen, who played in 23 Tests between 2012 and 2015, is also back in the squad having fully recovered from his injuries.

Vermeulen featured in only two Tests in 2016 before suffering an injury during the home series against Ireland, while Hougaard returns after missing the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour to the United Kingdom and Italy at the end of 2016 due to injury.

Coetzee said he was satisfied with the composition of the group, which has a good balance of promising newcomers and experienced players. He also explained the decision to reward Whiteley with the captaincy.

“Warren has been one of the outstanding leaders in South African rugby for many years,” said Coetzee.

“He is respected by his team-mates and opposition alike and has a lot of experience when it comes to captaincy, having led the Emirates Lions with great authority for many seasons. He is resilient, copes well under pressure and makes good decisions.

“The national selectors have rewarded form and we are looking forward to face the French team next month. I am confident the players will do the jersey and our country proud,” said Coetzee.

“A Lot of hard work has been done since the start of the season to make sure we improve as a team. The collaboration and spirit showed at the various indabas and other gatherings are proof that we are moving in the right direction.

“The three preseason training camps gave us the chance to have a close look at a number of players, especially those who haven’t been involved with the Springboks previously. We were also kept abreast of the form and the progress of the overseas-based group of players,” added Coetzee.

The third training camp finished in Johannesburg on Tuesday morning, with Coetzee emphasising the importance of the training camps.

“I want to especially thank the franchise and conditioning coaches for their contribution towards the success of the training camps,” according to the Bok coach.

Flyhalf Pat Lambie is still symptomatic following his concussion. After discussions with the player and the medical teams of both the Springboks and the Cell C Sharks, it was decided not to consider him for selection for the Springbok squad.

Apart from Lambie, the following players were not considered for Springbok and SA ‘A’ selection because of injury, or as stated otherwise: JC van Rensburg (prop, DHL Stormers), Julian Redelinghuys (prop, Emirates Lions), Francois Louw (flank, Bath, UK), Roelof Smit (flank Vodacom Bulls), Marcell Coetzee (flank, Ulster, Ireland), Handré Pollard (flyhalf, Vodacom Bulls), Jean-Luc du Plessis (flyhalf, DHL Stormers), Kurt Coleman (flyhalf, DHL Stormers), Robert du Preez (flyhalf, DHL Stormers), Howard Mnisi (centre, Emirates Lions), Rohan Janse van Rensburg (centre, Emirates Lions), Nico Lee (centre, Toyota Cheetahs), Leolin Zas (wing, DHL Stormers), Curwin Bosch (flyhalf, Cell C Sharks, Junior Springboks), André Esterhuizen (centre, Cell C Sharks, suspended) and RG Snyman (lock, Vodacom Bulls, suspended).

The Springbok squad for the Incoming Series (in alphabetical order):

Forwards (18):

Lood de Jager (lock), Vodacom Bulls – 28 caps, 20 points (4 tries)

Pieter-Steph du Toit (lock), DHL Stormers – 20 caps, 15 points (3 tries)

Ruan Dreyer (prop), Emirates Lions – uncapped

Eben Etzebeth (lock), DHL Stormers – 54 caps, 10 points (2 tries)

Steven Kitshoff (prop), Bordeaux Bègles (France) – 10 caps, 0 points

Siya Kolisi (flank), DHL Stormers – 16 caps, 0 points

Jaco Kriel (loose forward), Emirates Lions – 7 caps, 0 points

Frans Malherbe (prop), DHL Stormers – 15 caps, 0 points

Malcolm Marx (hooker), Emirates Lions – 2 caps, 0 points

Bongi Mbonambi (hooker), DHL Stormers – 5 caps; 0 points

Oupa Mohoje (loose forward), Toyota Cheetahs – 15 tests, 0 points

Franco Mostert (lock), Emirates Lions – 7 caps, 0 points

Tendai Mtawarira (prop), Cell C Sharks – 87 caps, 10 points (2 tries)

Lizo Gqoboka (prop), Vodacom Bulls – uncapped

Coenie Oosthuizen (prop), Cell C Sharks – 23 caps, 15 points (3 tries)

Chiliboy Ralepelle (hooker), Cell C Sharks – 22 caps, 5 points (1 try)

Duane Vermeulen (loose forward), Toulon (France) – 37 caps, 10 points (2 tries)

Warren Whiteley (captain, loose forward), Emirates Lions – 15 caps, 15 points (3 tries)

Backs (13):

Lukhanyo Am (centre), Cell C Sharks – uncapped

Andries Coetzee (fullback) Emirates Lions – uncapped

Ross Cronje (scrumhalf), Emirates Lions – uncapped

Damian de Allende (centre), DHL Stormers – 22 Caps, 15 points (3 tries)

Francois Hougaard (scrumhalf), Worcester (England) – 39 caps, 25 points (5 tries)

Elton Jantjies (flyhalf), Emirates Lions – 11 caps, 78 points (12 conversions, 18 penalties)

Jesse Kriel (centre), Vodacom Bulls – 17 caps, 15 points (3 tries)

Dillyn Leyds (wing/utility back), DHL Stormers – uncapped

Rudy Paige (scrumhalf), Vodacom Bulls – 7 caps, 0 points

Raymond Rhule (wing) Toyota Cheetahs – uncapped

Jan Serfontein (centre), Vodacom Bulls – 26 caps, 10 points (2 tries)

Courtnall Skosan (wing), Emirates Lions – uncapped

Frans Steyn (flyhalf/centre), Montpellier (France) – 53 caps, 132 points (10 tries, 5 conversions, 21 penalties, 3 drop goals)

Issued by SA Rugby Communications

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