Malcolm Marx, Warren Whiteley return to Springboks; also three new players

Damian Willemse will be the understudy at No 10 to Handre Pollard and Elton Jantjies during the Rugby Championship.

DIANNE MANSON/GETTY IMAGES

Damian Willemse will be the understudy at No 10 to Handre Pollard and Elton Jantjies during the Rugby Championship.

First-five Damian Willemse is one of three uncapped players in South Africa’s squad for the Rugby Championship.

The 20-year-old Willemse was joined by uncapped flankers Cyle Brink and Marco van Staden in a squad of 35 announced on Monday (Tuesday NZ Time) by coach Rassie Erasmus.

Erasmus also recalled hooker Malcolm Marx, No 8 Warren Whiteley, halfback Ross Cronje and center Lionel Mapoe, all members of the Lions team that reached Saturday’s Super Rugby final. They didn’t play any part in South Africa’s series win over England in June, Erasmus’ first assignment in charge.

Erasmus decided that flanker Siya Kolisi will keep the Springboks captaincy despite the return from injury of Whiteley, the regular skipper last season.

Experienced lock Eben Etzebeth also returned from injury to take his place in the squad. Etzebeth hasn’t played this year.

Willemse has been earmarked as a future Springboks first-five since making his Super Rugby debut at 18. He will be the understudy to first-choice No 10 Handre Pollard and backup Elton Jantjies.

Brink, a powerful blindside flanker, was one of the Johannesburg-based Lions’ form players this season while the hard-tackling van Staden has a growing reputation at the Pretoria-based Bulls.

Erasmus added Bath flanker Francois Louw to his contingent of overseas-based players. Halfback Faf de Klerk and fullback Willie le Roux, who also play in England, are in the squad after being recalled from international exile by Erasmus in June.

Backs Damian de Allende, S’busiso Nkosi and Warrick Gelant, and forwards Lood de Jager, Trevor Nyakane and Coenie Oosthuizen were left out because of injury.

South Africa’s first match of the Rugby Championship is against Argentina in Durban on August 18 (August 19 NZT).

 – AP

Source

http://stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/international/106061256/malcolm-marx-warren-whiteley-return-to-springboks-also-three-new-players