British & Irish Lions

The 10 players released from Springbok squad

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Rosko Specman (Gallo)
Rosko Specman (Gallo)

After naming his team for Saturday's first Test against the British & Irish Lions in Cape Town, Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber trimmed his squad down to 37 players.

The Boks had a large group assembled ahead of the three-Test series, with the SA 'A' team playing matches against the Lions and the Bulls.

But with only the Test series to come, Nienaber has released 10 players back to their respective franchises and clubs.

The released players are wingers Yaw Penxe (Sharks) and Rosko Specman (Cheetahs), centre Wandisile Simelane (Lions), scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba (Sharks), loose forward Dan du Preez (Sale Sharks, England), utility forward Jean-Luc du Preez (Sale Sharks, England), props Coenie Oosthuizen (Sale Sharks, England) and Lizo Gqoboka (Bulls), and hookers Scarra Ntubeni (Western Province) and Fez Mbatha (Sharks).

"We have played three matches in the last few weeks with the Springboks facing Georgia and South Africa 'A' lining up against the British & Irish Lions and the Bulls, and the first two matches in particular allowed us to settle a few player combinations that haven’t played since the Rugby World Cup final," Nienaber said.

"We planned our team selections carefully, which is why it was important for us to play a third match after the second Test against Georgia was cancelled, and we know what the players we selected can do.

"The fact that most of the players participated in the Rugby World Cup means they know one another well on and off the field, and as coaches we know what they have to offer after having worked with most of them for several years."

Saturday's first Test at Cape Town Stadium kicks off at 18:00.

Springbok team for first Test:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Kwagga Smith, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse

Remaining squad members:

Thomas du Toit (prop), Vincent Koch (prop), Joseph Dweba (hooker), Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg (lock), Marvin Orie (lock), RG Snyman (lock), Marco van Staden (flank), Jasper Wiese (flank), Cobus Reinach (scrumhalf), Morne Steyn (flyhalf), Jesse Kriel (centre), Aphelele Fassi (fullback), Sbu Nkosi (wing), Frans Steyn (utility back)

*Note: No 8 Duane Vermeulen is currently not part of the squad due to an ankle injury.

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