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Team Named | South Africa Select XV To Face Munster

7th November 2022 By The Editor

Phepsi Buthelezi starts in the back row for South Africa Select XV.

Phepsi Buthelezi starts in the back row for South Africa Select XV. Inpho

South Africa Select XV coach Mzwandile Stick has included 14 capped Springbok players in his squad to face Munster at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, in association with Pinergy, on Thursday (7.30pm, sold-out – live on Virgin Media Two).

A landmark occasion, the game will see 41,400 supporters make their way to Páirc Uí Chaoimh for the largest-ever attendance at a rugby game in the province.

We will have a full matchday information piece on Tuesday, see some info ahead of the game here with the Munster team to be named on Wednesday.

Former Munster players Thomas du Toit and Jason Jenkins join the squad having trained with the Springboks squad ahead of the weekend’s game against Ireland.

Aphelele Fassi, Cornal Hendriks, Johan Goosen and Herschel Jantjies are the capped Boks in the backline. Jean-Luc du Preez, Elrigh Louw, Ruan Nortje, Jason Jenkins and the entire front row of Du Toit, Ntuthuko Mchunu and Joseph Dweba will all bring their Test match experience to a strong and physical pack of forwards.

Du Toit will captain the team, with Hendricks serving as his deputy.

There are a further three Springboks on the replacements bench in Dan du Preez, Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Grant Williams.

The backline will be boosted by exciting Stormers wings Leolin Zas and Suleiman Hartzenberg in a talented back three with Fassi, while former Junior Springbok captain and up-and-coming Sharks loose forward Phepsi Buthelezi will start in a strong loose trio with Louw and Jean-Luc du Preez.

Stick’s bench also features exciting young players in Andre-Hugo Venter, Simphiwe Matanzima and Sazi Sandi among the forwards, with former Junior Springboks Sanele Nohamba and Gianni Lombard as backline cover.

“We are pleased with the quality of the squad we selected, and we are confident that with this thrilling blend of experienced and young players have what it takes to perform against Munster,” said Stick.

“One of the main reasons for selecting SA ‘A’ and Springbok teams for the year-end tour was to cast our net as wide as possible to test our player depth less than a year out from the Rugby World Cup, while also giving as many players as possible top-class game time.

“Most of these players have either been in the Springbok squad in the last two seasons, or they have been on our radar, so this is an ideal opportunity to see them in action against what will be a physical and challenging encounter.”

Stick said the team has been working hard to get their structures in place after assembling in Cork on Sunday, and that every minute on the training field will count in ensuring that they deliver a classy showing.

“The SA ‘A’ coaches had the luxury of spending the week with the Springboks last week, where they attended all the coaches’ meetings and training sessions to give them a taste of Test rugby and what they will expect this week, and this allowed us to hit the ground running,” said Stick.

“The coaches, players and team management know what is expected of them and we are working hard to implement our structures as effectively and efficiently as possible, and I have no doubt we will be a tight unit by the time we take the field.”

Of the challenge posed by Munster, Stick said: “They are one of the top club teams and they balance their physicality with exciting backline play, so we are going to be tested thoroughly.

“That said, we have named an equally exciting team and we have a number of leaders in core positions. Every one of our players will also want to make the most of this opportunity to throw their names in the hat for World Cup selection, which will serve as an extra motivational factor to showcase their talent.”

South Africa XV: Aphelele Fassi (Sharks); Suleiman Hartzenberg (Stormers), Henco van Wyk (Lions), Cornal Hendricks (Bulls), Leolin Zas (Stormers); Johan Goosen (Bulls), Herschel Jantjies (Stormers); Ntuthuko Mchunu (Sharks), Joseph Dweba (Stormers), Thomas du Toit (C) (Sharks); Jason Jenkins (Leinster); Ruan Nortje (Bulls); Phepsi Buthelezi (Sharks), Elrigh Louw (Bulls), Jean-Luc du Preez (Sale Sharks).

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