SA well represented at RWC with 14 non-Bok players

CJ Stander (Getty Images)
CJ Stander (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Excluding the Springboks and Namibia, here are 14 players from other countries either born in South Africa.

The hosts Japan and the USA "lead the charge" with a combined seven players with strong South African links in their squads.

1. Hanco Germishuys (United States of America)

Germishuys was born in Kimberley but relocated to the USA while still at primary school. He returned for a short stint at the Sharks Academy in 2015 but has played most of his senior rugby in the USA, representing their U19 and U20s earlier in his career before making his Test debut for the Eagles in 2016.

2. Ruben de Haas (United States of America)

De Haas, whose father Pieter played provincial rugby in South Africa in the 1990s, was born George.

His parents moved to the USA in 2009 but Ruben was back in South Africa in recent years, playing in the Varsity Cup for the Central University of Technology and the Free State Cheetahs XV.

3. Shaun Davies (United States of America) 

Davies was born in Durban and currently plays for the Glendale Raptors in the MLR. He made his Eagles Test debut in 2012.

4. Kotaro Matsushima (Japan)

Matsushima was born in Pretoria, but he moved to Japan while still at school. But Lappies Labuschagne and Wimpie van der Walt may be better known to rugby supporters in South Africa.

5. Lappies Labuschagne (Japan)

Labuschagne, who gre up in Pretoria, played 49 Super Rugby matches for the Cheetahs and Bulls. He was a member of the Springbok squad in June 2013, but didn't play in any Tests.

6. Wimpie van der Walt (Japan)

Van der Walt, who went to Nelspruit High School like Duane Vermeulen, played Super Rugby for the Southern Kings and Bulls before making a permanent move to Japan in 2014.

7. CJ Stander (Ireland)

Former Junior Springbok captain CJ Stander played Super Rugby for the Bulls.

In 2012, he was one of six Young Guns invited to the Springbok squad, but shortly thereafter he signed with Munster in Ireland and made his Test debut in the Six Nations in 2016, a few months after becoming eligible for his adopted country on residency grounds.

Stander has played more than 30 matches for Ireland since and also made his Test debut for the British & Irish Lions against the All Blacks in 2017.

8. Jean Kleyn (Japan)

Kleyn, who was a team-mate of Stander at Munster, only recently qualified for Ireland but was included in their RWC squad on the back of only a handful of Tests. He played Super Rugby for the Stormers.

9. Allan Dell (Scotland)

Dell also played for the Junior Boks, while he played provincial rugby for the Sharks. He was a member of the SA squad that won the World Rugby U20 Championship on home soil in 2012 and moved to Edinburgh in 2014, making his Test debut in 2016.

10. WP Nel (Scotland)

Nel has been with Edinburgh since 2012. He played provincial rugby for WP, Boland and the FS Cheetahs, as well as Super Rugby for the Cheetahs, before packing his bags for the UK.

Nel made his Test debut in 2015 and played in the Rugby World Cup in England later that year, playing off the bench against the Boks in Newcastle in their pool match.

11. Braam Steyn (Italy)

Steyn, who hails from Cradock in the Eastern Cape, was a team-mate of Dell in the SA Under-20 squad in 2012, but he moved to Italy in 2013 and made his Test debut three years later, in 2016.

12. Dane Haylett-Petty (Australia)

Haylett-Petty was born in Durban but moved to Australia when he was still a youngster, and has been a stalwart in the gold jersey in the last few years.

13. Bernard le Roux (France)

Le Roux, who was born in Moorreesburg in the Western Cape, played for Boland in his younger days, but he's been in France for 10 years and made his Test debut way back in 2012.

14. DTH van der Merwe (Canada)

Van der Merwe, who will be playing in his fourth Rugby World Cup for Canada, hails from Worcester but moved to Canada with his family before he finished high school.

He made his debut for the Canucks in 2006 and has represented them in more than 50 Tests.

- SA Rugby

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