The Springboks pose for a team photo during the Rugby World Cup squad announcement in Randburg on Monday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
The Springboks pose for a team photo during the Rugby World Cup squad announcement in Randburg on Monday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Siya Kolisi will captain the Springboks at the Rugby World Cup 2019. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Siya Kolisi will captain the Springboks at the Rugby World Cup 2019. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Eben Etzebeth has been included in the Springbok squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup despite an incident in Langebaan at the weekend.

In addition, coach Rassie Erasmus has opted to pick two specialist fullbacks in Willie le Roux and Warrick Gelant in the 31-man group.

Utility back Frans Steyn, a veteran of the 2007 World Cup-winning Springbok team, also made the cut when SA Rugby president Mark Alexander read out the squad in Randburg on Monday.

There were no real surprise selections by Erasmus, who said at the announcement that there were “five or six players who missed out”, but that “these guys deserve to be here”.

The selections of Le Roux, Gelant and Steyn meant that there was no place for WP youngster Damian Willemse and provincial teammate Dillyn Leyds, while there are also three specialist scrumhalves in Herschel Jantjies, Faf de Klerk and Cobus Reinach.

Among the forwards, Kwagga Smith benefited from the injury to Marcell Coetzee, and was chosen ahead of Rynhardt Elstadt as a loose forward.

Veteran hooker Schalk Brits, at 38, is the oldest player in the squad captained by Siya Kolisi.

The Boks start their World Cup journey against the All Blacks in Yokohama on 21 September (11.45am SA time, 6.45pm Japan time).

Springbok World Cup Squad

Forwards: Schalk Brits, Lood de Jager, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Siya Kolisi (captain), Francois Louw, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Tendai Mtawarira, Franco Mostert, Trevor Nyakane, Kwagga Smith, RG Snyman, Duane Vermeulen.

Backs: Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Faf de Klerk, Warrick Gelant, Elton Jantjies, Herschel Jantjies, Cheslin Kolbe, Jesse Kriel, Makazole Mapimpi, Sbu Nkosi, Willie le Roux, Handre Pollard, Cobus Reinach, Frans Steyn.

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