Defending champions South Africa have named the squad they hope to be the first to win two world cups in a row. John Smit, captain of the 2007 team, has retained his captaincy despite continued pressure for the starting hooker spot from Bismarck du Plessis.
The Springboks enter the tournament ranked third on the IRB World Rankings. However, they have a game plan and pedigree tailor-made for knock out tournaments. South Africa are known for the strong forward play, set pieces, defence, goal kicking and drop goals; all of which have been pre requisites of winning world cups.
Peter de Villiers will coach South Africa at the tournament.
South Africa are in pool D along with Namibia, Wales, Samoa and Fiji, one of the toughest pools in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The Springboks open their 2011 Rugby World Cup campaign against Wales on the 11th of September at Wellington Regional Stadium. Even the lowest ranked competitor in Pool D will make for a big clash with South Africa. The majority of the Namibian squad plays club rugby in either Namibia or South Africa, so the local connection should make for a big match up when neigbours South Africa and Namibia play each other in Albany on 22 September.
Springbok Rugby World Cup 2011 Squad:
Forwards: Willem Alberts, Bakkies Botha, Heinrich Brüssow, Schalk Burger, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Francois Louw, Victor Matfield (vice captain), Tendai Mtawarira, Johann Muller, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Danie Rossouw, John Smit (captain), Pierre Spies, Gurthrö Steenkamp, CJ van der Linde
Backs: Gio Aplon, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers, Fourie du Preez, Jaque Fourie, Bryan Habana, Francois Hougaard, Butch James, Pat Lambie, Odwa Ndungane, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Frans Steyn, Morné Steyn.