Springboks offer update on captaincy ahead of Ireland series

The Springboks have confirmed the squad for the series against Ireland, but there is still a big decision to be made on the captaincy front.

On Tuesday, World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi was one of several overseas-based players named in an extended 39-man squad for the Springboks’ upcoming July series.

Kolisi is now plying his trade for French-based club Racing 92, and with the SA Rugby governing body generally preferring a locally-based captain, it has raised a question over whether he will retain the team leadership.

The general expectation is that an exception will be made in order to retain Kolisi as captain, especially considering what an incredible influence he has as one of the game’s most revered leaders.

The latest 39-man squad features 22 forwards and 17 backline players, but it was noteworthy that it was also confirmed that Erasmus is only “set to name the captain for the competition closer to the Ireland Test”.

It’s quite possible that Kolisi is also simply going through various medical assessments after recently returning from France, with a call still needing to be made about his readiness for the first Test against Ireland on 6 July.

Yet it is also evident that a big decision is still being carefully considered on the captaincy front on the eve of the Springboks’ July internationals.

The 39-man squad gathered in Pretoria on Tuesday and will continue with their training schedule, despite arriving in South Africa a day later than expected after their flight from London to South Africa was cancelled on Sunday night.

They will return home for the weekend to spend time with their families and resume their Test week training schedule on Monday 1 July for the clash against Ireland at Loftus Versfeld.

“We named the best squad available for the Incoming Series, and with squad depth being one of our key pillars as we build toward to the 2027 Rugby World Cup and the Test against Portugal,” said Erasmus.

“Unfortunately, a handful of players are carrying injuries and were ruled out of the selection mix, but our plan to build depth in the last few years and expose players to Test rugby in the build-up to the 2023 RWC and against Wales last weekend certainly paid off.”



Phepsi Buthelezi (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Ben-Jason Dixon (DHL Stormers), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz), Thomas du Toit (Bath), Eben Etzebeth (Hollywoodbets Sharks). Johan Grobbelaar (Vodacom Bulls), Vincent Koch (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Siya Kolisi (Racing 92), Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers), Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears), Bongi Mbonambi (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Salmaan Moerat (DHL Stormers), Franco Mostert (Honda Heat), Ox Nche (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92/Hollywoodbets Sharks), Evan Roos (DHL Stormers), Kwagga Smith (Blu Revs), RG Snyman (Munster/Leinster), Gerhard Steenekamp (Vodacom Bulls), Marco van Staden (Vodacom Bulls), Jan-Hendrik Wessels (Vodacom Bulls), Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers).


Lukhanyo Am (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls), Damian de Allende (Wild Knights), Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles), Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins/Hollywoodbets Sharks), Aphelele Fassi (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (DHL Stormers), Cheslin Kolbe (Suntory Sungoliath), Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles), Wilie le Roux (Vodacom Bulls), Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers), Makazole Mapimpi (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Handre Pollard (Leicester Tigers), Cobus Reinach (Montpellier), Morne van den Berg (Emirates Lions), Edwill van der Merwe (Emirates Lions), Grant Williams (Hollywoodbets Sharks).


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