MBALULA CAPS BOK PLAYERS AHEAD IRB WORLD CUP
By: Jarryd Subroyen
The Minister of Sports and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, has capped the Springboks’ 31-man squad to represent the nation in the Rugby World Cup in England.
This was done at the farewell gala dinner held at the Montecasino in Johannesburg to host the event on Tuesday evening.
The named players are given an official inauguration, welcoming them into the highly rated national side. This has been a long standing tradition for an abundance of national teams, and
proves to be the highlight of many professional careers.
Players were honoured in a speech by Mbalula, who outlined the importance of South Africans getting behind the Boks ahead of the tournament.
Mbalula said, “As the Springboks go into the final preparations of the World Cup, they must know that they have the support of the millions of people back home. They will return from
England with the trophy.”
Heyneke Meyer and his squad will begin their campaign in pursuit of the Webb Ellis Cup, against Japan on the 19th of September. The two time champions, will fancy their chances of
progression from a group rounded of by; Scotland, USA and Samoa.
The squad will be captained by Jean de Villiers who has recovered from injury. A host of 16 new players will be looking to debutise for the side. The team’s newcomers include: Damian
de Allende, Lood de Jager, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi, Jesse Kriel, Schalk Brits, Handre Pollard, Rudy Paige, Willie le Roux, Lwazi Mvovo, Duane Vermeulen, Eben
Etzebeth, Adriaan Strauss, Trevor Nyakane, Frans Malherbe and Coenie Oosthuizen.