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Vermeulen To Captain Springboks In Rugby Championship Opener

The experienced Vermeulen will captain the Springboks for the third time in their Rugby Championship opener against Australia on Saturday.

Vermeulen Springboks Rugby Championship

The experienced Duane Vermeulen will captain the Springboks for the third time in their Rugby Championship opener against Australia on Saturday. Vermeulen will lead a team full of experienced players and newcomers, with former Ireland international lock Jean Kleyn making his debut.

Stormers flyhalf Manie Libbok and loose forward Marco van Staden also make their first starts, having made three and 10 appearances respectively as replacements.

Vermeulen will stand in as captain for the injured Siya Kolisi, and forms a strong loose trio against the Wallabies with Pieter-Steph du Toit and Van Staden, while Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber selected a front row featuring props Frans Malherbe and Ox Nche, and hooker Bongi Mbonambi. Kleyn partners Marvin Orie at lock.

Blue Bulls wingers Canan Moodie and Kurt-Lee Arendse will play in front of their home fans with experienced fullback Willie le Roux serving as the last line of defence at fullback. At the same time, Lukhanyo Am returns for the first time since August to renew a partnership with former Sharks teammate Andre Esterhuizen.

Manie Libbok is partnered at halfback by scrumhalf Cobus Reinach, who makes his first start since the final match of the 2021 season.

Springbok Team To Face Australia

15. Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz) – 83 caps, 65 pts (13t)
14. Canan Moodie (Vodacom Bulls) – 4 caps, 5 pts (1t)
13. Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks) – 31 caps, 30 pts (6t)
12. Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins) – 11 caps, 0 pts
11. Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls) – 7 caps, 35 pts (7t)
10. Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers) – 3 caps, 10 pts (5c)
9. Cobus Reinach (Montpellier) – 24 caps, 45 pts (9t)
8. Duane Vermeulen (captain, Ulster) – 65 caps, 15 pts (3t)
7. Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz) – 66 caps, 25 pts (5t)
6. Marco van Staden (Vodacom Bulls) – 10 caps, 0 pts
5. Marvin Orie (DHL Stormers) – 11 caps, 0 pts
4. Jean Kleyn (Munster) – uncapped for SA (Ireland 5 caps)
3. Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers) – 58 caps, 5 pts (1t)
2. Bongi Mbonambi (Cell C Sharks) – 56 caps, 60 pts (12t)
1. Ox Nche (Cell C Sharks) – 19 caps, 0 pts

16. Joseph Dweba (DHL Stormers) – 4 caps, 0 pts
17. Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks) – 15 caps, 0 pts
18. Vincent Koch (Stade Francais) – 41 caps, 0 pts
19. RG Snyman (Munster) – 23 caps, 5 pts (1t)
20. Evan Roos (DHL Stormers) – 3 caps, 0 pts
21. Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers) – 5 caps, 0 pts
22. Grant Williams (Cell C Sharks) – 1 cap, 0 pts
23. Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) – 27 caps, 36 pts (2t, 4c, 4p, 2d)

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    Lwanele Poswayo is a Content Writer for and host of the UFC section on the Bet Central Podcast. Lwanele studied Sports and Recreation Management and has three years of experience as a sports writer. His passion for sports has seen him cover several sporting codes, including soccer, MMA and cricket, with his main focus being cricket betting.

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