Following their bonus-point win against Australia in the opening fixture of the 2019 Rugby Championship, the Springboks have announced their travelling squad for their clash against New Zealand in Wellington.
14 players departed for New Zealand last Thursday which included the usual suspects such as Malcolm Marx, Duane Vermeulen, Faf de Klerk and Handre Pollard while there was a surprise in the presence of Kwagga Smith who looks set to make his debut against the world champions.
On Saturday night, a further eight players jetted out with head coach Rassie Erasmus and the rest of the coaching staff. It appears that the eight players which are Eben Etzebeth, Jesse Kriel, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Rynhardt Elstadt, Trevor Nyakane, Elton Jantjies, Herschel Jantjies and Bongi Mbonambi are front runners to appear next to the 14 currently there in the starting 23.
On Sunday, another group will leave Johannesburg which sees Marcell Coetzee, Francois Louw, Lood de Jager, Tendai Mtawarira, Schalk Brits, Cobus Reinach, Sbu Nkosi, Makazole Mapimpi, Frans Steyn and Vincent Koch all included.
Finally, Lizo Gqoboka, Warrick Gelant, Marvin Orie and Andre Esterhuizen will join the squad on Monday although for them it appears to be more about training with the squad than being in selection contention.
Jaco van Staden and Dillyn Leyds have been released to their unions for Currie Cup participation whilst incumbent captain Siya Kolisi also remained behind to continue his rehab after being sidelined with a knee injury.
Erasmus has already made it clear that his first goal for the year is to win the Rugby Championship which will mean they will need at least a draw against the All Blacks in little under a weeks time.
Full tour squad is:
Forwards (21): Schalk Brits (Vodacom Bulls), Marcell Coetzee (Ulster, Ireland), Lood de Jager (Vodacom Bulls), Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks), Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers), Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse, France), Eben Etzebeth (DHL Stormers), Lizo Gqoboka(Vodacom Bulls), Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers), Vincent Koch (Saracens, England), Francois Louw (Bath, England), Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers), Malcolm Marx (Emirates Lions), Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers), Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks), Franco Mostert (Gloucester, England), Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls), Marvin Orie (Emirates Lions), Kwagga Smith (Emirates Lions), RG Snyman (Vodacom Bulls), Duane Vermeulen (Vodacom Bulls).
Backs (15): Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks), Damian de Allende (DHL Stormers), Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, England), Andre Esterhuizen (Cell C Sharks), Warrick Gelant (Vodacom Bulls), Elton Jantjies (Emirates Lions), Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse, France), Jesse Kriel (Vodacom Bulls), Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks), Sbu Nkosi (Cell C Sharks), Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz, Japan), Handré Pollard (Vodacom Bulls), Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints, England), Frans Steyn (Montpellier, France).