South Africa Rugby Championship Squad
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has named his 35-man squad for the upcoming 2018 Rugby Championship. A plethora of Test regulars return to the South Africa side after having not featured in their 2-1 series win over England in the summer.
The Lions quartet of Malcolm Marx, Warren Whiteley, Ross Cronje and Lionel Mapoe all come back into the squad for the first time this year. Bath forward Francois Louw, Lwazi Mvovo and the man mountain Eben Etzebeth also return to the squad.
Erasmus said: “Eben and Warren have been out of the Bok mix for a while because of injury so it’s very pleasing to have them back in the squad, while Malcolm has regained his good form with the Lions since recovering from his injury.”
In relation to Etzebeth, he said: “He has trained with us since the Stormers had their bye before their last (Super Rugby) match,” Erasmus said.
“He has done every single physical thing. He is functionally up there and definitely one of the fittest guys in the squad, that I can promise you, just by looking at his stats and the way he has trained.”
There are also several young players selected in the squad, including Damian Willemse, Marco Van Staden and Cyle Brink.
“It is also pleasing to again add some young players who been showing good form and consistency for their franchise teams during Super Rugby,” Erasmus added.
2018 Rugby Championship Squad
Forwards: Cyle Brink, Jean-Luc du Preez, Thomas du Toit, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Steven Kitshoff, Siya Kolisi (captain), Francois Louw, Wilco Louw, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Franco Mostert, Tendai Mtawarira, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Marvin Orie, RG Snyman, Akker van der Merwe, Marco van Staden, Warren Whiteley
Backs: Lukhanyo Am, Ross Cronjé, Faf de Klerk, Aphiwe Dyantyi, André Esterhuizen, Elton Jantjies, Jesse Kriel, Willie le Roux, Makazole Mapimpi, Lionel Mapoe, Lwazi Mvovo, Embrose Papier, Handré Pollard, Ivan van Zyl, Damian Willemse
original article appeared on RugbyWorld.co.za