RANDBURG – The Rugby World Cup is slowly taking the attention of the world and South African coach Rassie Erasmus announced his squad en route to Japan.
The final 31-man squad to represent South African Springboks at the global showpiece was announced on Monday in Randburg where scores of fans cheered for the team.
Erasmus announced the players for the tournament which kicks off in September and it came as no surprise that the likes of Tendai Mtawarira, Elton Jantjies, and Lood de Jager were called up for the tournament.
Siyamthanda Kolisi will captain the side as they aim to win a third Webb Ellis Cup and he has admitted it would be an honour to lead the team.
“I’m really looking forward to it and I know I’m not on my own. The coach just asked me to play and the rest will take care of itself,” Kolisi said.
“I’m really honoured to lead the Boks. Coach Rassie gave me my first chance out of school. I knew him before all of this.
“He knows where I come from. These are opportunities that you don’t even dream about [as a kid growing up in the townships].
“I’m very nervous about it. At the same time, I have a lot of confidence in my teammates and I know they will support me through all of this.
“There are a lot of players in the group who have led before, who know what it’s like, and I’m going to be counting on them.
“I’m grateful that all the coach wants me to do is play my game. I’m not someone who wants to be seen as the guy in charge. When I need help I will ask for it. I’m willing to let other players lead in ways I can’t,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Rynhardt Elstadt is the unfortunate player to miss out on a ticket to the tournament having spent the last week in camp with the Boks.
South Africa will kick off their world cup campaign with a game against reigning world champions New Zealand on the 21 September.
Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Schalk Brits (Bulls), Malcolm Marx (Lions), Bongi Mbonambi (Stormers), Vincent Koch (Saracens/ENG), Frans Malherbe (Stormers), Trevor Nyakane (Bulls), Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), Lood de Jager (Bulls), Franco Mostert (Gloucester/ENG), RG Snyman (Bulls), Siya Kolisi (Stormers, capt), Francois Louw (Bath/ENG), Kwagga Smith (Lions), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), Duane Vermeulen (Bulls)
Warrick Gelant (Bulls), Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz/JPN), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse/FRA), Sibusiso Nkosi (Sharks), Lukhanyo Am (Sharks), Jesse Kriel (Bulls), Damian de Allende (Stormers), Francois Steyn (Montpellier/FRA), Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks), Elton Jantjies (Lions), Handre Pollard (Bulls), Herschel Jantjies (Stormers), Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks/ENG), Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints/ENG)