Overseas-based players dominate 43-man squad

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Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber announced a 43-man national squad on Saturday for the upcoming international season.

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That season will kick off with a three-Test home series against Wales before the Rugby Championship gets under way in August.

The international season will conclude with an end-of-year tour to Europe which will likely include three SA ‘A’ matches.

For that reason, Nienaber named as many as 43 players far more than the Wallabies who selected 35 and the All Blacks 36 for their upcoming mid-year series’ against England and Ireland, respectively.

The Springbok squad features eight debutants.

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The squad team breakdown makes for interesting reading.

While we know that certain players will be on the move come the end of the season, as it currently stands the Sharks have 10 representatives, the Stormers nine and the Bulls just four.

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There were no Lions players selected, nor any recognition for three of the four Currie Cup semi-finalists (Cheetahs, Pumas and Griquas).

As many as 20 players selected currently play their rugby abroad for as many as 16 different teams.

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SPRINGBOK SQUAD

Props: Thomas du Toit (Sharks), Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), Vincent Koch (Saracens), Frans Malherbe (Stormers), Ntuthuko Mchunu (Sharks) *, Ox Nche (Sharks), Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92)

Hookers: Joseph Dweba (Bordeaux), Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears), Bongi Mbonambi (Sharks)

Locks: Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks), Eben Etzebeth (Toulon), Salmaan Moerat (Stormers) *, Ruan Nortje (Bulls) *, Marvin Orie (Stormers)

Loose forwards: Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz), Marcell Coetzee (Bulls), Siya Kolisi (Sharks), Elrigh Louw (Bulls) *, Evan Roos (Stormers) *, Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Júbilo), Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers)

Utility forwards: Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse), Deon Fourie (Stormers) *, Franco Mostert (Honda Heat)

Scrumhalves: Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks), Jaden Hendrikse (Sharks), Herschel Jantjies (Stormers), Cobus Reinach (Montpellier), Grant Williams (Sharks) *

Flyhalves: Elton Jantjies (NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes), Handre Pollard (Montpellier)

Centres: Lukhanyo Am (Sharks), Damian de Allende (Munster), Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins), Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles)

Outside Backs: Aphelele Fassi (Sharks), Warrick Gelant (Stormers), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulon), Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz), Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks)

Utility Backs: Kurt-Lee Arendse (Bulls) *, Damian Willemse (Stormers)

* denotes uncapped

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