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Tyibilika now an ’emerging Bok’

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Solly Tyibilika, who was recently at the center of a storm over his lack of commitment, is now an “emerging” player.

Tyibilika, who nearly had his contract cancelled by the Golden Lions because he failed to turn up at practice sessions, has been named in the South African Emerging team to take part in the International Rugby Board (IRB) Nations Cup tournament in Romania next month.

The tournament takes place from 5 to 16 June.

It an extraordinary move by the South African Rugby Union (SARU) and its commercial arm, SA Rugby, to keep the 27-year-old loose forward in the loop, he was called up to a national representative team despite having played only club rugby this year.

Tyibilika, who was axed from the Lions Super 14 squad because of his poor conditioning, blamed his absence from Golden Lions Vodacom Cup practices on “ignorance” – despite the Lions revealing that he had been “warned” on three separate occasions for not going to training.

Now the veteran, who played the last of his seven tests in the Tri-Nations encounter against New Zealand in Pretoria in August last year before being discarded, is a member of the “emerging” squad that will head abroad next Friday.

Another Bok veteran who has fallen out of favour with Springbok coach Jake White, Stormers prop Eddie Andrews, is also in the “emerging” squad that will compete in Romania.

The 30-year-old Andrews played the last of his 21 tests when he came on as a replacement in a Tri-Nations game against New Zealand at the WestPac Stadium, Wellington, in July last year.

Apart from the two discarded veterans who are now “emerging” players, the squad includes five “fringe” Springboks.

They are Hilton Lobberts (who played one test against England in November last year), Kabamba Floors (one test against England in November), Bevin Fortuin (one test against Ireland in November), Jaco Pretorius (one test against Ireland in November) and Tonderai Chavhanga (who played his only test when he scored a record six tries against Uruguay in 2005).

Floors and Chavhanga were both members of Jake White’s Bok training squad in Bloemfontein last week, but now find them in the emerging category.

Overall the team, to be coached by Pieter de Villiers (head coach) and his assistant Jerome Paarwater, has a very interesting look.

Apart from the Boks in the squad Super 14 stars like Heini Adams, Louis Ludick, Heinke van der Merwe, Jano Vermaak, Bradley Barritt, Ryan Kankowski, Odwa Ndungane (who was also a member of White’s training squad before being “demoted”), Schalk Brits, Peter Grant and Ross Skeate give the team a very solid look.

Add to that former Bok Sevens captain Jonathan Mokuena and the team begins to look very exciting.

SA Emerging team: Heini Adams, Marius Delport, Hilton Lobberts, Bandise Maku, Wilhelm Steenkamp (all Blue Bulls), Kabamba Floors, Bevin Fortuin, Jonathan Mokuena (all Free State Cheetahs), Louis Ludick, Jaco Pretorius, Solly Tyibilika, Heinke van der Merwe, Jano Vermaak (all Golden Lions), Ashley Constance (Pumas), Bradley Barritt, Nikolai Blignaut, Ryan Kankowski, Sangoni Mxoli, Odwa Ndungane, Howard Noble (all Sharks), Schalk Brits, Tonderai Chavhanga, Peter Grant, Morgan Newman, Ross Skeate, Eddie Andrews (all Western Province).

Team Management:
Coach: Pieter de Villiers
Assistant coach: Jerome Paarwater
Team manager: Peter Maimane
Team doctor: Dr Ryan Kohler
Conditioning coach: Neels Liebel
Physiotherapist: Wayne Hector

Match schedule:

Match Day 1 – Tuesday, June 5:
Argentina A v Italy A
Georgia A v Namibia
SA Emerging v Romania

Match Day 2 – Sunday, June 10:
Argentina A v Namibia
SA Emerging v Georgia
Italy A v Romania

Match Day 3 – Saturday, June 16:
Italy A v Georgia
Namibia v Romania
SA Emerging v Argentina A

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