South Africa have announced the Springboks 2015 Rugby World Cup Squad. The Springboks have a proud World Cup history, famously winning the first tournament they attended, which they also hosted, in 1995. They also won in 2007 but were bundled out by Australia in the quarter finals in 2011. They will look to take advantage of the quirky World Cup stat of teams that lose a quarter final go onto win the next tournament.
South Africa have questionable form leading into the tournament, suffering a historic loss to Argentina and coming last in the Rugby Championship. However, their style of play is perfectly suited to the Rugby World Cup. Also, by the look of the strong Springboks 2015 Rugby World Cup Squad, they look to have put their terrible injury toll behind them.
Jean de Villiers, playing in his third world cup, will captain the side. Ever-green lock Victor Matfield will be vice-captain, who along with Schalk Burger, is playing in his fourth World Cup. As well as de Villiers, Bryan Habana, JP Pietersen, Ruan Pienaar, Fourie Du Preez, Bismarck du Plessis and Jannie du Plessis will be playing in their third world cup.
The Springboks 2015 Rugby World Cup Squad includes a 17/14 forwards/back split and have followed the tradition tactic of picking three hookers, three halfbacks and three specialist first fives.
The Springboks are in Pool B, alongside Japan (who they open their tournament against), Samoa, USA and Scotland, so should easily top their pool. Click here for the Rugby World Cup Fixtures 2015.
Springboks 2015 Rugby World Cup Squad
Springbok Forwards RWC 2015:
Hookers: Schalk Brits, Bismarck du Plessis, Adriaan Strauss
Props: Jannie du Plessis, Frans Malherbe, Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen
Locks: Lood de Jager, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Victor Matfield (vice captain)
Loose forwards: Willem Alberts, Schalk Burger, Siya Kolisi, Francois Louw, Duane Vermeulen
Springbok Backs RWC 2015:
Scrum-halves: Fourie du Preez, Rudy Paige, Ruan Pienaar
Fly-halves: Patrick Lambie, Handrè Pollard, Morné Steyn
Centres: Jean de Villiers, Damian de Allende, Jesse Kriel
Outside backs: Bryan Habana, Zane Kirchner, Willie le Roux, Lwazi Mvovo, JP Pietersen
The notable omissions from the Springboks 2015 Rugby World Cup Squad include 2007 winner, utility back Frans Steyn and outstanding fetcher Heinrich Brussow. Marcel Coetzee, Jan Serfontein and Cobus Reinach are also unlucky to miss the cut. The uncapped Rudy Paige is perhaps the biggest surprise, selected ahead of ahead of fellow halfback Cobus Reinach. Click here to see profiles on each player on the Springbok’s Facebook page.