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Do these 14 players earn Springboks RWC selection?



The upcoming Rugby Championship is set to kick off in July, and the Springboks squad will gather in Pretoria on Sunday, 11 June, to commence their preparations. As the 2023 Rugby World Cup approaches, both local and overseas-based star players are expected to intensify their training and readiness.

This season, the Rugby Championship will consist of three matches for the Springboks. They will face Australia at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, 8 July, New Zealand at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland on Saturday, 15 July, and Argentina at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Saturday, 29 July.

This condensed tournament serves as the final significant opportunity for players to stake their claim for a spot in the World Cup squad, with the official announcement scheduled for early August. However, performances and injuries during the Rugby Championship could lead to swift changes in the selection prospects.

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Now let’s delve into the 14 backs who are the leading contenders to secure a place in the squad for the Rugby World Cup in France. Although circumstances can evolve rapidly, based on the current analysis:

  • Scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse is anticipated to recover from injury in time for selection.
  • Manie Libbok is likely to be included ahead of Elton Jantjies, who is currently out of favour at Flyhalf.
  • The centre positions appear to be set, with Damian Willemse also capable of covering the 12 positions.
  • An exciting selection possibility lies in the emergence of young talent Canan Moodie, potentially at the expense of the sidelined Frans Steyn.

The 14 backs in contention for World Cup selection are as follows:

  • Scrumhalves: Faf de Klerk, Jaden Hendrikse, Cobus Reinach
  • Flyhalves: Handre Pollard, Damian Willemse, Manie Libbok
  • Centres: Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Jesse Kriel
  • Outside backs: Kurt-Lee Arendse, Cheslin Kolbe, Willie le Roux, Makazole Mapimpi, Canan Moodie

In addition to the Rugby Championship, there are other fixtures in the Springboks’ calendar leading up to the World Cup. They will play warm-up matches against Argentina on Saturday, 5 August, in Buenos Aires, Wales on Saturday, 19 August, at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, and New Zealand on Friday, 25 August, at Twickenham in London.

As for the Rugby World Cup fixtures themselves, here are the dates and venues for the Springboks:

  • Sunday, 10 September – Springboks vs Scotland (Stade Velodrome, Marseille)
  • Sunday, 17 September – Springboks vs Romania (Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux)
  • Saturday, 23 September – Springboks vs Ireland (Stade de France, Paris)
  • Sunday, 1 October – Springboks vs Tonga (Stade Velodrome, Marseille)

The quarter-finals will take place on the weekend of 14/15 October, followed by the semi-finals on the weekend of 21/22 October. The highly anticipated final will be held on Saturday, 28 October.

Also Read: 

Home Affairs extends Zimbabwe exemption permit to December

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Photo: Facebook / @Springboks

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