Over the weekend the new Springbok squad for the 2012 Springbok Test Series against England was announced. No more than 13 Bulls have been included in the team which will be coached by former Bulls coach Heyneke Meyer. Nine uncapped players have been including in the 32 member squad, they are Marcell Coetzee, JJ Engelbrecht, Eben Etzebeth, Elton Jantjies, Juandré Kruger, Coenie Oosthuizen, Jacques Potgieter, Franco van der Merwe and Jano Vermaak. 15 members of the Rugby World Cup 2011 squad has been recalled and nine Rugby World Cup winners from 2007 are still left in the squad. Bryan Habana (who has 74 Springbok tests below his belt) is the most experienced player in the squad. 6 other players have played in more than 40 tests for South Africa.
The full 2012 Springbok Squad for the upcoming tests against England are:
Backs: Zane Kirchner (Bulls), JP Pietersen (Sharks), JJ Engelbrecht (Bulls), Jean de Villiers (Stormers), Wynand Olivier (Bulls), Francois Steyn (Racing Metro/FRA), Bryan Habana (Stormers), Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), Bjorn Basson (Bulls), Morne Steyn (Bulls), Patrick Lambie (Sharks), Elton Jantjies (Golden Lions), Francois Hougaard (Bulls), Jano Vermaak (Bulls), Ruan Pienaar (Ulster/IRL)
Forwards: Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs), Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), Chiliboy Ralepelle (Bulls), Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs), Jannie du Plessis (Sharks), Werner Kruger (Bulls), Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), Flip van der Merwe (Bulls), Franco van der Merwe (Lions), Juandre Kruger (Bulls), Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), Willem Alberts (Sharks), Pierre Spies (Bulls), Ryan Kankowski (Sharks), Keegan Daniel (Sharks), Jacques Potgieter (Bulls)
Today SA Rugby announced that Stormers captain Jean De Villiers will be the new Springbok captain. He follows in the footsteps of former captain John Smit (who retired from rugby last year). He’s the 54th person to be named Springbok captain in the history of South African rugby. Jean De Villiers is also 10th most-capped Springbok of all time. De Villiers made his test debut in 2002 for the Springboks.
De Villiers will be captaining South Africa in the 3 match home test series against England (which kicks off this week Saturday in Durban). The other two test will be played in Johannesburg on the 16th of June and Port Elizabeth on the 23rd of June. All three tests kick off at 17:00.
Let’s hope the Springboks have what it takes to teach the English a lesson. Dust off that Springbok jersey in your closet and get your test rugby watching shoes on before this weekend. Go Bokke!
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