Coaches pick star-studded teams for Springbok 'Green' v 'Gold' trial match

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Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber
Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber
Johan Rynners/Gallo Images

SA Rugby Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus and newly appointed coach Jacques Nienaber have selected two strong 25-man squads for next month's Springbok Showdown.

The Springbok Showdown sees the Springbok Green take on Springbok Gold in a friendly encounter at Newlands on Saturday, 3 October (17:05).

Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick will coach the Springbok Green, while Deon Davids will coach the Springbok Gold with Erasmus and Nienaber acting as the two team commissioners.

At Friday's live draft draw on SuperSport, the two squads were picked, which includes 13 members of the Rugby World Cup-winning squad.

The 50 players who made the cut after the draft picks were selected from the initial 93 players that were unveiled last week.

"The draft picks exercise was a refreshing way to select the two squads for the game," explained Erasmus.

"Myself, Jacques and the coaches thoroughly enjoyed the exercise, but the tension of picking squads on live television wasn't good for the nerves - I want to thank SuperSport for their support in this project and I hope our fans enjoyed something new on the South African rugby landscape."

The two squads and management members will assemble in Cape Town on Sunday, where they will prepare their match day preparations separately from each other in their respective "bio-bubble environments".

According to the SA Rugby press release, each squad will be augmented by seven rookies, whose names will be announced in the coming days.

These players, who will return to their provinces the day before the match if they are not required to step into either squad as replacements, were selected to gain experience of a typical Springbok squad environment in the weeklong build-up to the eagerly awaited Cape Town clash.

A number of players who are currently injured were not considered for the match, including Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), Sbu Nkosi (Sharks), Aphelele Fassi (Sharks) and Lizo Gqoboka (Bulls).

Erasmus said the players were picked from a very dynamic draft list and he thanked the franchise teams for their collaboration during the entire identification, monitoring and drafting process.

The two Springbok Showdown draft squads are:

Springbok Green squad

Props: Ox Nche, Thomas du Toit, Trevor Nyakane, Luan de Bruin

Hookers: Bongi Mbonambi, Schalk Erasmus

Locks: JD Schickerling, Hyron Andrews, Oupa Mohoje

Loose forwards: Siya Kolisi, Arno Botha, Duane Vermeulen, Junior Pokomela, Juarno Augustus

Scrumhalves: Sanele Nohamba, Embrose Papier

Flyhalves: Elton Jantjies, Manie Libbok

Centres: Frans Steyn, Wandisile Simelane, Jeremy Ward

Outside backs: Seabelo Senatla, Yaw Penxe, Gianni Lombard, Malcolm Jaer

Springbok Gold squad:

Props: Steven Kitshoff, Dylan Smith, Frans Malherbe, Ruan Dreyer

Hookers: Scarra Ntubeni, Dylan Richardson 

Locks: Salmaan Moerat, Marvin Orie, Jason Jenkins

Loose forwards: Marco van Staden, Nizaam Carr, Sikhumbuzo Notshe; Vincent Tshituka, James Venter

Scrumhalves: Herschel Jantjies, Jaden Hendrikse

Flyhalves: Damian Willemse, Curwin Bosch

Centres: Rikus Pretorius, Lukhanyo Am, Werner Kok, Manuel Rass

Outside backs: Sergeal Petersen, Rosko Specman, Warrick Gelant

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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