"New Captain" – Rassie Erasmus Names Springboks Squad to take on Wales at Twickenham

South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus has named his first squad of the 2024 Summer Series, with the Springboks set to take on Wales this Saturday at Twickenham. Erasmus has set the tone for the upcoming two-match series against Ireland, with a star-studded squad set to take on Warren Gatland’s men this weekend.

Amongst the match day 23, there are 10 players who featured for South Africa in the 2023 Rugby World Cup Final triumph over the All Blacks. Five of those retain their places in the starting XV: Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert, Pieter-Steph Du Toit, Faf de Klerk and Jesse Kriel. The triumphant coronation of ‘bokke-to-bokke’ Web Ellis Trophies was the Springboks most recent fixture, with four uncapped players named in Saturday’s match marking the start of a new Rugby World Cup cycle.

Edwill van der Merwe (wing) and Jordan Hendrikse (flyhalf) are the two uncapped players named to start for the Springboks, who feature a good balance of youth and experience. While Ben-Jason Dixon (lock) and Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (utility back) are the two new faces on the replacements bench.

Rugby World Cup-winning prop Vincent Koch will earn his 50th Test cap on Saturday, and the side will be captained by flanker Du Toit, with Siya Kolisi not named in the squad. Erasmus has welcomed back experienced hooker Malcolm Marx, who’s last ran out for the team was in their opening World Cup encounter against Scotland. Marx suffered a knee injury in the following World Cup training week, which also kept him on the sidelines for Kubota Spears Funabashi Tokyo Bay.

Thirty players will travel to London on Wednesday night, with those outside of the matchday squad being the Rugby World Cup winning duo of Manie Libbok (flyhalf), RG Snyman (lock), as well as Neethling Fouche (prop), Phepsi Buthelezi (loose forward), Ethan Hooker (centre), Quan Horn (fullback), and Andre-Hugo Venter (hooker). 

RG Snyman of South Africa during the Test Match between New Zealand and South Africa at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on August 25th 2023. – PHOTO: George Beck/PPAUK

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RG Snyman of South Africa during the Test Match between New Zealand and South Africa at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on August 25th 2023. – PHOTO: George Beck/PPAUK

Erasmus’ replacement bench is a five-three split in favour of the forwards, which includes four Rugby World Cup winners: Bongi Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe, Grant Williams, and Damian de Allende.

"This is an exciting playing squad and travelling group, and we are looking forward to seeing how the uncapped players step up at top international level and how we execute what we've been working on at training in the last few days and at the alignment camps," said Erasmus.

"The likes of Edwill, Jordan, Ben-Jason, and Sacha have really impressed us at training, and we believe they have what it takes to make their presence felt against a quality team such as Wales.

"They will be surrounded by several experienced campaigners – some of whom are Rugby World Cup winners – so they will have enough guidance on the field to fulfil their roles even when the pressure is on. It is equally exciting for us to see players such as Aphelele (Fassi), Evan (Roos), Ntuthuko (Mchunu), and Salmaan (Moerat) back in the green in gold after earning their stripes in the last few seasons."

Springbok team to face Wales at Twickenham:

15 – Aphelele Fassi (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 3 caps, 10 points (2t)

14 – Edwill van der Merwe (Emirates Lions) – Uncapped

13 – Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles) – 68 caps, 75 points (15t)

12 – Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins) – 16 caps, 0 pts

11 – Makazole Mapimpi (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 41 caps, 130 points (26t)

10 – Jordan Hendrikse (Emirates Lions) – Uncapped

9 – Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles) – 55 caps, 50 points (5t, 5c, 5pg)

8 – Evan Roos (DHL Stormers) – 5 caps, 0 points

7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (captain – Toyota Verblitz) 77 caps, 40 points (8t)

6 – Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs) – 40 caps, 35 pts (7t)

5 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat, Japan) – 73 caps, 15 points (3t)

4 – Eben Etzebeth (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 119 caps, 30 points (6t)

3 – Vincent Koch (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 49 caps, 5 points (1t)

2 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) – 64 caps, 85 points (17t)

1 – Ox Nche (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 27 caps, 0 pts


16 – Bongi Mbonambi (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 68 caps, 65 points (13t)

17 – Ntuthuko Mchunu (Hollywoodbets Sharks) 1 cap, 0 points

18 – Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers) – 69 caps, 5 points (1t)

19 – Salmaan Moerat (DHL Stormers) – 3 caps, 0 points)

20 – Ben-Jason Dixon (DHL Stormers) – Uncapped

21 – Grant Williams (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 8 caps, 10 points (2t)

22 – Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (DHL Stormers) – Uncapped

23 – Damian de Allende (Wild Knights) – 78 caps, 55 points (11t)

Springboks record against Wales

Played 41; Won 33; Lost 7; Drawn 1; Points for: 1 071; Points against; 658; Tries scored: 126; Tries conceded: 54; Highest score: 96-13; Biggest win: 83 points; Win %: 80%.

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