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Strong SA ‘A’ squad named for French Barbarians
May 23, 2017
Experienced Springboks Trevor Nyakane, Ruan Combrinck, Juan de Jongh and Lionel Mapoe will lead the charge for the SA ‘A’ team when they face the French Barbarians in two matches in Durban and Soweto next month.

Apart from these four Springboks in the 26-man squad, the national selectors also added a host of promising players in the group to face the French visitors.

The SA ‘A’ side will again be coached by Emirates Lions coach Johan Ackermann, who was also in charge when the team played against the England Saxons last season.

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee said he was excited by the next crop of players coming through the ranks.

“I think we have a brilliant mix of experienced players who have tasted what Test rugby is all about already, and very promising prospects youngsters who will be pushing for higher honours in the not too distant future,” said Coetzee.

“In my view, there is definitely a lot of value in having players with Test experience playing with these exciting prospects, who along with the Junior Springboks represent the future of South Arica rugby.”

Combrinck, who missed the Springbok tour of the United Kingdom and Italy at the end of 2016 because of injury, is part of an exciting-looking backline. He made an impressive Vodacom Super Rugby comeback last weekend for the Emirates Lions against the Vodacom Bulls in Johannesburg.

Other SA ‘A’ squad members who have represented the Springboks at Test level include Nyakane (prop, Vodacom Bulls), De Jongh (centre, DHL Stormers), Mapoe (centre, Emirates Lions), Uzair Cassiem (flank, Toyota Cheetahs), Jean-Luc du Preez (flank, Cell C Sharks), Francois Venter (centre, Toyota Cheetahs) and Jamba Ulengo (wing, Vodacom Bulls).

They are joined by exciting youngsters such as Ox Nche (prop, Toyota Cheetahs), Thomas du Toit (prop, Cell C Sharks), Jason Jenkins (lock, Vodacom Bulls), Chris Cloete (flank, Steval Pumas/Southern Kings), Andisa Ntsila (loose forward, Southern Kings) and Makazole Mapimpi (wing, Southern Kings).

The SA ‘A’ squad to take on the French Barbarians (followed by Test caps and SA ‘A’ appearances):

Forwards (14):
Ruan Botha (lock), Cell C Sharks – 0, 0
Uzair Cassiem (loose forward), Toyota Cheetahs – 1, 0
Chris Cloete (loose forward), Southern Kings – 0, 0
Thomas du Toit (prop), Cell C Sharks – 0, 2
Andries Ferreira (lock), Emirates Lions – 0, 0
Jason Jenkins (lock), Vodacom Bulls – 0, 1
Wilco Louw (prop), DHL Stormers – 0, 0
Jean-Luc du Preez (loose forward), Cell C Sharks – 1, 2
Franco Marais (hooker), Cell C Sharks – 0, 0
Ox Nche (prop), Toyota Cheetahs – 0, 0
Sikhumbuzo Notshe (loose forward), DHL Stormers – 0, 1
Andisa Ntsila (loose forward), Southern Kings – 0, 0
Trevor Nyakane (prop), Vodacom Bulls – 28, 1
Ramone Samuels (hooker), DHL Stormers – 0, 0

Backs (12):
Ruan Combrinck (wing), Emirates Lions – 7, 0
Lionel Cronje (flyhalf), Southern Kings – 0, 0
Juan de Jongh (centre), DHL Stormers – 19, 0
Warrick Gelant (fullback), Vodacom Bulls – 0, 0
Makazole Mapimpi (wing), Southern Kings – 0, 0
Lionel Mapoe (centre), Emirates Lions – 11, 0
Dewaldt Duvenage (scrumhalf), DHL Stormers – 0, 0
Jamba Ulengo (wing), Vodacom Bulls – 1, 0
Francois Venter (centre), Toyota Cheetahs – 3, 2
Jano Vermaak (scrumhalf), DHL Stormers – 3, 2
Harold Vorster (centre), Emirates Lions – 0, 0
Fred Zeilinga (flyhalf), Toyota Cheetahs – 0, 0

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