Coach Rassie Erasmus has named his squad for the Castle Lager Rugby championship ahead of their first game against Argentina on the 18th August. The coach will be hoping to build on an impressive 2-1 series victory against England in the June series and the Springboks will be aiming to break the All Blacks monopoly this time round. There is fresh enthusiasm in the team with renewed strategy, coaching staff and a host of fresh faces in the Springboks camp.
The Springboks team features a contingent plying their trade in Europe in Faf De Klerk and Willie Le Roux that will be blend alongside a well represented group from the losing Super Rugby finalists; Emirates Lions in Cyle Brink, Malcolm Marx, Warren Whiteley and Elton Jantjies as the most notable names.
Picture credit – Super Sport and Springboks
The world’s number one ranked team has also revealed their squad for the tournament in a press release where coach Steve Hansen explained the inclusion of certain names in a very competitive rugby nation all vying for the black jersey. Most notable of all is Richie Mo’unga whose performances spearheaded the Crusaders to their 9th Super rugby title.The Crusaders first five eighth will be giving Beauden Barrett some steep competition for the number 10 shirt.
Ardie Savea returns from an injury scare in time to make the squad whereas veteran centre Sonny Bill Williams makes the team at the expense of the impressive Hurricanes’ second five eighth Ngani Laumape who will be on standby in case of any tactical or injury call up.
Picture credit – All Blacks
Michael Cheika also updated his training squad ahead of both the Bledisloe cup and the Rugby championship after a trial game with the Australia Super select team that his side beat comfortably. The team comprises of UK based exports Matt Toomua and Tatafu Polota Nau.
The Wallabies training squad consists of 6 uncapped players in Jermaine Ainsley, Folau Fainga, Tom Banks, Jack Maddocks, Jordan Petaia and the impressive Rebels playmaker Billy Meakes who will be competing with Kurtley Beale for the number 12 shirt along with Toomua. Captain Michael Hooper returns from injury just in time to bring a wealth of experience to the back row alongside mate David Pocock.
Picture credit – Wallabies
The Pumas of Argentina are yet to release their team but it surely won’t have a very big difference from the Jaguares side that reached the quarterfinals of the Super rugby tournament.
First round of fixtures – Saturday 18th August 2018
Australia vs New Zealand – 13:05 hours
South Africa vs Argentina – 18:05 hours