Future Boks - Business Media MAGS


Future Boks

Athenkosi Tsotsi takes a look at South Africa’s future Rugby World Cup hopefuls.

In 2019 the Springboks won their third Rugby World Cup with the most transformed team since readmission. There were no transformation targets or quota talks, and the players selected were there on merit. 

With the 2023 Rugby World Cup only a few months away, here are our picks for potential new players for coach Jacques Nienaber’s team.   

Asenathi Ntlabakanye, Lions 

Lions prop Ntlabakanye stands at 1.82m and weighs around 143kg. French Top 14 club Racing 92 described him as a pillar with an impressive build. The 24-year-old was one of the standout players for the Lions this season. He came into his own bamboozling opponents by being firm in the scrum and covering ground like a flanker.  

Ntlabakanye is the most-capped Junior Springbok, and this year he proved he can be part of the Boks setup. 

Sanele Nohamba, Lions 

The nippy scrumhalf has had an impressive resurgence after his name was mooted in the discussion of Bok No.9s. Nohamba has managed to put it back in the hat after growing in leaps and bounds this season, playing an influential role for the Lions in the Challenge Cup and United Rugby Championship.  

He has grabbed games by the scruff of the neck, dictating the tempo, kicking 50–22 kicks, and putting points on the board. These qualities could see him sneak into the World Cup squad. 

Phepsi Buthelezi, Sharks 

The race to be Duane Vermeulen’s heir is one of the most competitive in the Boks setup, with Jasper Wiese in pole position, followed by Evan Roos, Elirgh Louw and Buthelezi. What makes Buthelezi stand out from the rest is his leadership skills, having stepped up as the Sharks skipper this season. The balance he has struck between leading and performance is impressive, making him a potential asset if integrated into the system.

Lions' prop Asenathi Ntlabakanye (C-L) is tackled by Stade Francais' prop Giorgi Melikidze (C-R) during the European Challenge Cup Pool B rugby union match between the Lions and Stade Francais at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg on December 16, 2022. (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE / AFP) (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images)

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