Golden Lions eighthman Warren Whiteley has been named by coach Allister Coetzee as South Africa’s 58th rugby captain after the retirement of Adriaan Strauss.
While Whiteley has excelled at Super Rugby level and possesses excellent communication and leadership skills, there are a few who still doubt whether he is South Africa’s best option at 8, with his performances not quite at the level of what Duane Vermeulen produced at test level for the Boks. The Stormers loose forward was one of the best players during the Heyneke Meyer era before his departure to French outfit Toulon.
Vermeulen is one of four overseas players included in this squad, with the others being Steven Kitshoff, Francois Hougaard and Frans Steyn.
The Golden Lions (9) and Stormers (7) make up half the squad, with the Bulls (5), Sharks (4), Overseas (4) and Cheetahs (2) finishing the 31 member list.
Uncapped players in Springbok squad: Lukhanyo Am, Andries Coetzee, Ross Cronje, Dillyn Leyds, Raymond Rhule, Courtnall Skosan, Ruan Dreyer, Lizo Gqoboka
Blue Bulls players in the Bok squad: Lood de Jager, Lizo Gqoboka, Jan Serfontein, Jesse Kriel, Rudy Paige (5)
Sharks players in the Bok Squad: Beast Mtawarira, Chilliboy Ralepelle, Coenie Oosthuizen, Luk Am (4)
Lions players in the Bok squad: Ruan Dreyer, Jaco Kriel, Malcolm Marx, Franco Mostert, Warren Whiteley, Andries Coetzee, Ross Cronje, Elton Jantjies, Courtnall Skosan (9)
Cheetahs players in Bok squad: Oupa Mohoje, Raymond Rhule (2)
Stormers players in Bok Squad: PS Du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Damian De Allende, Dillyn Leyds (7)
Overseas players in Bok Squad: (4)- Vermeulen, Kitshoff, Francois Steyn, Francois Hougaard
Edit- Jean-Luc du Preez has been added as the 32nd player to the camp
Lukhanyo Am has been replaced by Lionel Mapoe after the former injured his cheekbone against the Stormers. That takes the number of Lions players in the squad to 10 (Sharks remain 4 after the withdrawal of Am but the addition of Jean-Luc)