South Africa call up eight uncapped players ahead of Wales visit
South Africa have named eight uncapped players in their 43-man squad for their 2022 international campaign that begins against visitors Wales in July.
The 2019 World Cup winners go on to face New Zealand, Argentina and Australia in the Championship that follows the three-Test Wales series.
Evan Roos, Elrigh Louw, Ruan Nortje, Salmaan Moerat, Ntuthuko Mchunu and Deon Fourie are the uncapped forwards.
Among the backs, Kurt-Lee Arendse and Grant Williams hope to win first caps.
The familiar faces include 2019 World Cup winners in lock Eben Etzebeth, flankers Pieter-Steph du Toit and Siya Kolisi, scrum-half Faf de Klerk and wing Cheslin Kolbe, for a Test season that ends with games against Ireland and England in November.
Wales’ home-based players will also be familiar with a host of United Rugby Championship (URC) talent.
Two South African teams will contest the URC final on Saturday, 18 June after none of Wales’ regions finished in the top eight in 2021-22.
Stormers and Bulls recorded narrow wins over Irish teams Ulster and Leinster respectively to reach the final.
Coach Jacques Nienaber’s full squad will assemble after the URC, French Top 14 and English Premiership seasons end.
“Building squad depth is one of the key areas for us, and it is great to see the number of young players who have put up their hands this season, and we are delighted to invite them to the national squad environment,” said Nienaber.
“It is also good to welcome back some of the experienced players who have been part of our structures for a few years now, and I’m confident they will slot back into set-up with ease.
“We obviously have to wait a little longer for some players to be released from their club commitments, but we are pleased to be able to announce the squad with exactly three weeks to go before our opening Test against Wales.”
The Springboks host Wales boss Wayne Pivac’s side on three successive Saturdays, beginning on 2 July.
Forwards: Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks), Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers), Vincent Koch (Saracens), Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers), Ntuthuko Mchunu (Cell C Sharks), Ox Nche (Cell C Sharks), Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92), Joseph Dweba (Bordeaux), Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears), Bongi Mbonambi (Cell C Sharks), Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks), Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks), Salmaan Moerat (DHL Stormers), Ruan Nortje (Vodacom Bulls), Marvin Orie (DHL Stormers), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz), Marcell Coetzee (Vodacom Bulls), Siya Kolisi (Cell C Sharks), Elrigh Louw (Vodacom Bulls), Evan Roos (DHL Stormers), Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Júbilo), Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers), Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse), Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers), Franco Mostert (Honda Heat).
Backs: Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks), Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks), Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers), Grant Williams (Cell C Sharks), Johan Goosen (Bulls), Elton Jantjies (NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes), Handre Pollard (Montpellier Herrault), Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks), Damian de Allende (Munster), Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins), Jesse Kriel (Cannon Eagles), Aphelele Fassi (Sharks), Warrick Gelant (Stormers), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulon), Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz,), Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks, Kurt-Lee Arendse (Bulls), Damian Willemse (Stormers).