RWC Boks blend young and tested for the 2023 World Cup in France

THE Springboks are ready to defend their Webb Ellis Cup come September.

Today, the South African Rugby Union announced the strong 33-World Cup team for the 2023 RWC in France, at the packed SuperSport offices in Randburg.

The defending champs open their account against Scotland on September 10.

Boks depart for Europe on Saturday for friendly matches against Wales and New Zealand, respectively, before heading to France for the remainder of the tournament.

21 players with Rugby World Cup experience (nine of whom will be appearing at their third Rugby World Cup) were named.

Springbok squadMarco van Staden, Jasper Wiese, André Esterhuizen, Marvin Orie, RG Snyman, Jean Kleyn, Canan Moodie, Vincent Koch, Ox Nche, Kwagga Smith, Faf de Klerk, Cheslin Kolbe, Manie Libbok, Damian Willemse, Makazole Mapimpi, Jesse Kriel, Jaden Hendrikse, Deon Fourie, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Grant Williams, Cobus Reinach, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Malcolm Marx, Trevor Nyakane, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Damian de Allende, Steven Kitshoff, Franco Mostert, Willie le Roux, Duane Vermeulen and Eben Etzebeth.

Captain Siyamthanda Kolisi who was doubtful due to injury, will lead the team as they defend the title they won in Japan four years ago.

The team has seen omissions in the likes of Handre Pollard- calf injury, Lukhanyo Am knee issues while Lood de Jager has chest problems, but they have been placed on standby with six other players.

Boks Pool B fixtures:

Sept 9: Bordeaux – Ireland v Europe 2

Sept 10: Marseille – South Africa v Scotland

Sept 16: Nantes – Ireland v Asia/Pacific 1

Sept 17: Bordeaux – South Africa v Europe 2

Sept 23: Stade de France – South Africa v Ireland

Sept 24: Nice – Scotland v Asia/Pacific 1

Sept 30: Lille – Scotland v Europe 2

Oct 01: Marseille – South Africa v Asia/Pacific 1

Oct 07: Stade de France – Ireland v Scotland

Oct 08: Lille – Asia/Pacific 1 v Europe 2

The final is on October 28.

SARU will host the farewell fete on Saturday at OR Tambo Int’l Airport beginning from 12.

Meanwhile, coach Jacques Nienaber is set to quit the team after WC.

Nienaber is leaving the Springboks to take up a position at Leinster in Ireland next year.

According to sources within rugby, its a deal he could not turn down.

After his departure a replacement will have to be found, if not already, but the likeable and Boks technical director Rassie Erasmus, will take the bull by its horn by leading the team on interim basis.

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