CAPE TOWN, August 5 (Reuters) – - Promising young flyhalf Curwin Bosch headlines a list of three newcomers named on Saturday in a 34-man South Africa squad for their opening game of the Rugby Championship campaign later this month.
Coach Allister Coetzee made just six changes to the squad that beat France in all three tests in their June series as he said he wanted consistency for the match against Argentina in Port Elizabeth on Aug. 19.
“We are looking for continuity, experience and combinations – all elements which I believe are reflected in the current squad selection,” he said in a statement announcing the side.
The 20-year-old Bosch steps up from the South Africa under-20 side, having made his debut for the Sharks in Super Rugby last year and winning a regular place in the team this year.
The other newcomers are 22-year-old Sharks number eight Dan du Preez, whose twin brother Jean-Luc made his Boks debut last year, and Bulls fullback Warrick Gelant, also 22.
Flanker Uzair Cassiem, prop Trevor Nyakane and flyhalf Handre Pollard are the only other players included who were not part of the squad in June.
But captain Warren Whiteley is still six weeks away from recovering from the groin injury that forced him to miss the last test against France and the knockout rounds of the Lions’ Super Rugby campaign.
“Warren’s absence is a massive blow for the Springboks and for him personally. I really feel for him but I am sure he will get back stronger. It gives an opportunity for another player now and I am sure there will be very strong competition for the No 8 jersey,” said Coetzee.
South Africa’s squad assembles in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday to begin preparing. They will continue the Rugby Championship away against Argentina in Salta on Aug. 26, then Australia and New Zealand on the road in September before finishing the southern hemisphere tournament at home to the Wallabies on Sept. 30 and world champions New Zealand on Oct. 7.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Neil Robinson