5 players unlucky to miss Bok call-up

Harlequins' Tyrone Green is eligible for England selection this year and his services could be lost to Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus. | EPA

Harlequins' Tyrone Green is eligible for England selection this year and his services could be lost to Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus. | EPA

Published Jun 10, 2024


There will be winners, losers, and the unlucky whenever a Springbok squad is announced. Mike Greenaway looks at five names that were conspicuously absent from the 35-man that goes into a training camp today ahead of the Test against Wales on June 22.

The Emirates Lions' Sanele Nohamba. | Backpagepix

Sanele Nohamba

As the URC progressed, Nohamba’s form for the Lions at both scrumhalf and flyhalf suggested he was a certainty for the match against Wales, and it can only be an ongoing concussion issue that has kept him out. His versatility and his knack of making things happen are invaluable. Nohamba’s time may yet come but he will be disappointed that he is not currently in the mix.

Harlequins' Tyrone Green. | . EPA

Tyrone Green

It is a while since the dynamic fullback thrilled Lions fans but followers of the English Premiership know how spectacular Green has been for Harlequins. He scores wonder tries and ignites counter-attacks from the back. He qualifies for England this year and it will be a pity if he is playing against the Boks in the November international at Twickenham. Fullback is also a position where the Boks are a touch thin but it looks like Rassie Erasmus is looking to SA-based players.

Ruben van Heerden of the Stormers. | BackpagePix

Ruben van Heerden

When Van Heerden was starring for SA Schools and the SA Under-20 teams between 2015 and 2017, he seemed on the path to Springbok colours but it has never happened for him. Earlier this year, the 26-year-old was invited to his first Bok alignment camp as a reward for a stand-out season with the Stormers. Van Heerden has been excellent for the Cape team after a long and frustrating period at the Sharks and a season in England at Exeter.

Herschel Jantjies of the Stormers. | . Backpagepix

Herschel Jantjies

The scrumhalf was another to be involved in earlier alignment camps but has not made the cut for the latest squad. Jantjies was a firm part of the Bok team between 2019 and 2022 but has seen competition in the position rise and overtake him. Scrumhalf is a position where the Boks are uniquely blessed – Faf de Klerk, Cobus Reinach, Jaden Hendrikse and Grant Williams all went to the last World Cup and famously all got on the pitch against Romania – so the 28-year-old Jantjies would be disappointed to see another excellent No 9 overtake him in Morne van den Berg.

Lukhanyo Am of the Sharks. | BackpagePix

Lukhanyo Am

There is no way that Am has been omitted because he is no longer in favour but he must be wondering if the injury curse will ever be lifted from him. He played just four Tests in 2023 and although he did get to France eventually, the fine form of Jesse Kriel meant he was never picked. He is now 30 and when he could not play in the Challenge Cup final for the Sharks because of a shoulder injury, coach Erasmus would have been among those disappointed.