Bok RWC squad: Elstadt likely to be 'player 32'

Rynhardt Elstadt (Gallo Images)
Rynhardt Elstadt (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Of the 32 players that remained for a training camp in Bloemfontein last weekend, it appears as though utility forward Rynhardt Elstadt will be the unlucky one to miss out on Rugby World Cup selection.

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus will name his 31-man World Cup squad at 15:00 on Monday and the expectation is that one of the 32 players from the Bloemfontein training squad will stay home.

Afrikaans newspaper Rapport revealed on Sunday that Elstadt was likely to be the unlucky party. The report added that it's unlucky for Erasmus to pick any of the players who were on duty in the Currie Cup this past weekend.

Kwagga Smith looks set to be preferred for Elstadt, with Smith reportedly already informing Scottish team Edinburgh that he won't be honouring a short-term contract with them due to his World Cup participation.

Fullback Warrick Gelant was the other player in danger of missing out but it looks like the Bok coach will persist in taking 14 backline players to the showpiece event in Japan.

Along with Smith, Francois Louw, Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Duane Vermeulen will be the loose forwards.

Erasmus has indicated that he'll take three specialist hookers which means Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi and Schalk Brits already have their tickets booked for Japan.

The idea of taking only two specialist scrumhalves - with utility back Cheslin Kolbe as a possible back-up - has been mentioned in some circles but Erasmus said he will not take that risk, meaning Cobus Reinach will join Faf de Klerk and Herschel Jantjies in the squad.

The Bok mentor is also set to include four specialist locks (Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert, RG Snyman and Lood de Jager) and five specialist props (Steven Kitshoff and Beast Mtawarira as looseheads and Frans Malherbe, Trevor Nyakane and Vincent Koch as tightheads).

Damian de Allende, Frans Steyn, Lukhanyo Am and Jesse Kriel will be the midfielders, with Handre Pollard and Elton Jantjies the flyhalves.

The wingers look set to be Kolbe, Makazole Mapimpi and S'bu Nkosi, with Willie le Roux and Gelant the fullbacks.

Current 32-man Springbok squad:

Forwards (18)

Schalk Brits (Bulls), Lood de Jager (Bulls), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse, France), Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), Vincent Koch (Saracens, England), Siya Kolisi (Stormers), Francois Louw (Bath, England), Frans Malherbe (Stormers), Malcolm Marx (Lions), Bongi Mbonambi (Stormers), Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Franco Mostert (Gloucester, England), Trevor Nyakane (Bulls), Kwagga Smith (Lions), RG Snyman (Bulls), Duane Vermeulen (Bulls)

Backs (14)

Lukhanyo Am (Sharks), Damian de Allende (Stormers), Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, England), Warrick Gelant (Bulls), Elton Jantjies (Lions), Herschel Jantjies (Stormers), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse, France), Jesse Kriel (Bulls), Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks), S'bu Nkosi (Sharks), Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz, Japan), Handre Pollard (Bulls), Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints, England), Frans Steyn (Montpellier, France)

Compiled by: Herman Mostert

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