Despite Eastern Province Rugby being constantly under the spotlight as, well, kinda useless… the province can certainly claim to consistently producing players of a high calibre to serve in the national squad.
Not only does PE have strong representation with a Springbok coach – Allsiter Coetzee – and assistant coach – Mzwandile Stick – both calling Port Elizabeth home but there are THREE Port Elizabeth born players in the recently announced side. Further placing the Eastern Cape’s stamp of authority on the side are the SEVEN players who call the Eastern Cape their home province. Two of the Port Elizabeth born players selected played for Grey High School: Jan Serfontein and Siya Kolisi.
Springbok Coach, Allister Coetzee named nine uncapped players, for the Castle Lager Incoming Series against Ireland, featuring three Tests in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.
Coetzee picked 17 forwards and 14 backs to report for duty on Sunday afternoon for the start of a two week-long preparation camp in Stellenbosch and Cape Town. The squad will gather in Stellenbosch for the first week, before they break for two days and then reassemble on Sunday 5 June in Cape Town.
The Springok Squad for the Castle Lager Incoming Series against Ireland, featuring three Tests in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth consists of 31 players who:
- Were born in these towns: Cape Town (5), Port Elizabeth (3), King Williams Town(3), Durban (2), Nelspruit (2), Stellenbosch (2) Alberton, Bethlehem, Bloemfontein, Bredasdorp, Bushbuckridge, George, Graaf Reinet, Harare, Heidelberg, Mthatha, Pretoria, Somerset West, Standerton, and Vereniging.
- Call these provinces home: Western Cape (11), Eastern Cape (7), Gauteng (4), Free State (3), Mpumalanga (3), Kwazulu-Natal (2), Zimbabwe.
- Currently play for: Western Province (9), Blue Bulls (6), Lions (5), Sharks (5), Bath, Free State, Pumas, SWD, Toulon, Valke.
The entire squad is:
|Name||Birth Place||Current Team||Home Province|
|Lood de Jager||Alberton||Free State||Free State|
|Bongi Mbonambi||Bethlehem||Blue Bulls||Free State|
|Adriaan Strauss||Bloemfontein||Blue Bulls||Free State|
|Frans Malherbe||Bredasdorp||Western Province||Western Cape|
|Trevor Nyakane||Bushbuckridge||Blue Bulls||Mpumalanga|
|Francois Louw||Cape Town||Bath||Western Cape|
|Jesse Kriel||Cape Town||Blue Bulls||Western Cape|
|Damian de Allende||Cape Town||Western Province||Western Cape|
|Pieter-Steph du Toit||Cape Town||Western Province||Western Cape|
|Eben Etzebeth||Cape Town||Western Province||Western Cape|
|Garth April||George||SWD||Western Cape|
|Elton Jantjies||Graaf Reinet||Lions||Eastern Cape|
|Rudy Paige||Heidelberg||Blue Bulls||Gauteng|
|Sikhumbuzo Notshe||King Williams Town||Western Province||Eastern Cape|
|Scarra Ntubeni||King Williams Town||Western Province||Eastern Cape|
|Nic Groom||King Williams Town||Western Province||Western Cape|
|Lwazi Mvovo||Mthatha||Sharks||Eastern Cape|
|Faf de Klerk||Nelspruit||Pumas||Mpumalanga|
|Jan Serfontein||Port Elizabeth||Blue Bulls||Eastern Cape|
|Lionel Mapoe||Port Elizabeth||Lions||Eastern Cape|
|Siya Kolisi||Port Elizabeth||Western Province||Eastern Cape|
|Steven Kitshoff||Somerset West||Western Province||Western Cape|
|Willie le Roux||Stellenbosch||Sharks||Western Cape|
|JP Pietersen||Stellenbosch||Sharks||Western Cape|
In fact is one compares the 2012 Springbok side to Argentina that also featured SEVEN players from the Eastern Cape, one is tempted to say that the Eastern Cape, despite it’s troubles, has consistently delivered players of a high calibre to the Springbok squads – see: http://mype.co.za/new/seven-potential-southern-kings-players-in-springbok-squad-to-argentina/15997/2012/08.