Vermeulen omitted as world champions South Africa name squad

·2-min read

Veteran forward Duane Vermeulen suffered double disappointment on Saturday as he was omitted from Springboks 2022 squad just minutes after his Ulster team lost a URC semi-final.

Vermeulen is the only member of the 2019 World Cup-winning starting XV -- apart from retired prop Tendai 'The Beast' Mtawarira -- omitted by coach Jacques Nienaber.

Loose forward Vermeulen turns 36 next month and will be a year older when the 2023 Rugby World Cup kicks off in France.

Utility back Francois Steyn, 35, a replacement in the 2019 World Cup final triumph over England in Japan, also did not make the cut.

There are eight uncapped players among the 43 selected, including loose forwards Evan Roos and Elrigh Louw, locks Ruan Nortje and Salmaan Moerat, prop Ntuthuko Mchunu and utility forward Deon Fourie.

Roos, Moerat and Fourie helped the Stormers snatch a 17-15 victory over Ulster in Cape Town on Saturday to clinch a URC final showdown with fellow South Africans the Bulls next Saturday.

Full-back-cum-winger Kurt-Lee Arendse and scrumhalf Grant Williams are the backs who have worn the green and gold in a Test.

Nienaber said the squad had been chosen for the international season, which includes a three-Test tour by Wales, six Rugby Championship matches and a four-nation tour of Europe.

The Springboks face Wales during July, New Zealand, Australia nad Argentina between August and September, and Ireland, France, Italy and England in November.

"Building squad depth is one of the key areas for us, and it is great to see the number of young players who have put up their hands this season, and we are delighted to invite them to the national squad environment," said Nienaber.

"It is also good to welcome back some of the experienced players who have been part of our structures for a few years now, and I'm confident they will slot back into (the) set-up with ease."

No captain was named in the SA Rugby statement, but it seems certain that World Cup-winning skipper and flanker Siya Kolisi will continue in that role.

Squad

Forwards (25): Thomas du Toit, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Frans Malherbe, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane, Joseph Dweba, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Salmaan Moerat, Ruan Nortje, Marvin Orie, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Marcell Coetzee, Siya Kolisi, Elrigh Louw, Evan Roos, Kwagga Smith, Jasper Wiese, Rynhardt Elstadt, Deon Fourie, Franco Mostert

Backs (18): Faf de Klerk, Jaden Hendrikse, Herschel Jantjies, Grant Williams, Johan Goosen, Elton Jantjies, Handre Pollard, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Andre Esterhuizen, Jesse Kriel, Aphelele Fassi, Warrick Gelant, Cheslin Kolbe, Willie le Roux, Makazole Mapimpi, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Damian Willemse

Coach: Jacques Nienaber

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