South Africa trim squad for England Tests

Flanker Siya Kolisi is the first black South African to captain the national rugby side. (AFP pic)

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus trimmed his squad to 33 players Sunday for the remaining two Tests against England after taking a 1-0 series lead this weekend.

Prop Ox Nche, lock Jason Jenkins and loose forwards Kwagga Smith and Nizaam Carr have been released from the original squad chosen for a one-off Wales Test and the England series.

Another prop, Trevor Nyakane, withdrew from the team just before the 42-39 triumph over England in Johannesburg Saturday and has been ruled out of the series with a rib injury.

Veteran hooker Bismarck du Plessis pulled out before the first England international after being injured playing for Montpellier in the French Top 14 final.

Full-back Curwin Bosch, winger Travis Ismaiel and scrum-half Cameron Wright have also been released while an injury has sidelined France-based centre Francois Steyn last week.

The second Test is at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein this Saturday and the third at Newlands stadium in Cape Town on June 23.

Squad

Forwards (18)

Steven Kitshoff, Siya Kolisi (capt), Wilco Louw, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Pieter-Steph du Toit (all Western Stormers), Akker van der Merwe, Tendai Mtawarira, Daniel du Preez, Jean-Luc du Preez, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Thomas du Toit (all Coastal Sharks), Franco Mostert, Marvin Orie (both Golden Lions), Oupa Mohoje (Central Cheetahs), RG Snyman (Northern Bulls), Duane Vermeulen (unattached)

Backs (15)

Lukhanyo Am, Andre Esterhuizen, Makazole Mapimpi, Sibusiso Nkosi, Robert du Preez (all Sharks), Warrick Gelant, Jesse Kriel, Embrose Papier, Handre Pollard, Ivan van Zyl (all Bulls), Aphiwe Dyantyi, Elton Jantjies (both Lions), Damian de Allende (Stormers), Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks/ENG), Willie le Roux (Wasps/ENG)