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Seabelo Senatla, the current World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year, as well as fit-again Springboks such as Handré Pollard, Siya Kolisi, Frans Malherbe and Jaco Kriel, were all included in an extended Springbok training squad for the first of three camps, in Johannesburg.

The camp takes place from Sunday 5 to Tuesday 7 March and is the first of three preparations camps the Springboks will undertake as part of their plans before the start of the international season in June, when South Africa host France in a three-match Castle Lager Incoming Series.

Also included in the squad are five promising players who are earmarked for possible future Springbok involvement. They are Ox Nche (prop, Toyota Cheetahs), Joseph Dweba (hooker, Toyota Cheetahs), Hanro Liebenberg (No 8, Vodacom Bulls), Warrick Gelant (fullback, Vodacom Bulls) and Wilco Louw (prop, DHL Stormers).

All five youngsters are Junior Springboks, having represented the South Africa at various editions of the World Rugby Under-20 Championship. Four of them, Nche, Liebenberg, Gelant and Louw, featured for their franchises in the opening round of Vodacom Super Rugby the past weekend.

Players from the Cell C Sharks or Southern Kings were not considered for the Johannesburg camp, because of Vodacom Super Rugby duty in Australia and Singapore, while Emirates Lions players will leave the camp after Mondays’ activities as they are travelling with their franchise team to Argentina the following day.Long-term injured players such as Juan de Jongh (centre), Roelof Smit (flank) and Howard Mnisi (centre) were not considered for this camp.

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee said he is very happy to start working with the extended Bok squad so early in the year.

“We did a lot of background planning and this camp will give us the opportunity to take the objectives we agreed on at the various indabas, to the training field,” said Coetzee.

“This group was selected before the start of Vodacom Super Rugby so that we could adhere to World Rugby regulations by giving notice of the camp 14 days in advance.”

SA Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux, said: “I want to thank our franchises for their cooperation and releasing their players during Vodacom Super Rugby for the three Springbok camps.

“Unfortunately, we did not have any of these camps in 2016 and we know it is very important for the players and the coaches to spend as much time together as possible before the start of the season.”

Invited players for the first Springbok camp in Johannesburg (5-7 March), in alphabetical order:

No Name and surname Position Franchise
1 Nizaam Carr Number 8 DHL Stormers
2 Uzair Cassiem Flank Toyota Cheetahs
3 Damian de Allende Centre DHL Stormers
4 Lood de Jager Lock Vodacom Bulls
5 Faf de Klerk Scrumhalf Emirates Lions
6 Ruan Dreyer Prop Emirates Lions
7 Jean-Luc du Plessis Flyhalf DHL Stormers
8 Pieter-Steph du Toit Lock DHL Stormers
9 Joseph Dweba* Hooker Toyota Cheetahs
10 Eben Etzebeth Lock DHL Stormers
11 Warrick Gelant* Fullback Vodacom Bulls
12 Lizo Gqoboka Prop Vodacom Bulls
13 Hanro Liebenberg* Number 8 Vodacom Bulls
14 Travis Ismaiel Wing Vodacom Bulls
15 Rohan Janse van Rensburg Centre Emirates Lions
16 Elton Jantjies Flyhalf Emirates Lions
17 Siya Kolisi Flank DHL Stormers
18 Jaco Kriel Flank Emirates Lions
19 Jesse Kriel Fullback Vodacom Bulls
20 Wilco Louw* Prop DHL Stormers
21 Frans Malherbe Prop DHL Stormers
22 Lionel Mapoe Centre Emirates Lions
23 Malcolm Marx Hooker Emirates Lions
24 Bongi Mbonambi Hooker DHL Stormers
25 Teboho Mohoje Flank Toyota Cheetahs
26 Franco Mostert Lock Emirates Lions
27 Ox Nche* Prop Toyota Cheetahs
28 Sikhumbuzo Notshe Number 8 DHL Stormers
29 Trevor Nyakane Prop Vodacom Bulls
30 Rudy Page Scrumhalf Vodacom Bulls
31 Sergeal Petersen Wing Toyota Cheetahs
32 Handré Pollard Flyhalf Vodacom Bulls
33 Raymond Rhule Wing Toyota Cheetahs
34 Seabelo Senatla Wing DHL Stormers
35 Jan Serfontein Centre Vodacom Bulls
36 RG Snyman Lock Vodacom Bulls
37 Jamba Ulengo Wing Vodacom Bulls
38 Armand van der Merwe Hooker Emirates Lions
39 Piet van Zyl Scrumhalf Vodacom Bulls
40 Francois Venter Centre Toyota Cheetahs
41 Warren Whiteley Number 8 Emirates Lions

*Young Guns

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