Rassie Erasmus calls up uncapped son-in-law to South Africa squad - Ruck

Rassie Erasmus calls up uncapped son-in-law to South Africa squad

Andre-Hugo Venter is one of the uncapped players named by Rassie Erasmus in his Springbok squad for this summer’s matches. The Stormers star is also dating the coach’s daughter.

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The Boks are gearing up for a thrilling 2024 season, starting later this month against Wales in London. The squad features 11 uncapped players alongside veterans from the 2019 and 2023 Rugby World Cup-winning teams.

The uncapped players include Jordan Hendrikse (brother of Jaden Hendrikse), Quan Horn, Edwill van der Merwe, and Morne van den Berg (all from the Emirates Lions), Phepsi Buthelezi, Siya Masuku, Ethan Hooker (Hollywoodbets Sharks), and Ben-Jason Dixon, Sacha Feinberg-Mgomezulu, Neethling Fouche, and Venter (DHL Stormers), who all impressed in their respective competitions this season.

Venter, who is dating Rassie Erasmus’s daughter Nikki, is the 22-year-old son of former Springbok flanker Andre Hugo, a close friend of Erasmus. Andre Hugo, who played alongside Erasmus during their professional careers, now lives with the central nervous system condition transverse myelitis, which has left him paraplegic.

Nikki Erasmus, a University of Stellenbosch student and model, has been dating the Stormers player for over two years. She has shared photos of Venter as her date to her Matric Dance in 2022 and their adventurous outings. Nikki often expresses her support for Venter, calling herself his “biggest fan.”

The current 2025 British & Irish Lions squad, according to the bookies

The Lions will play a New Zealand and Australia invitational XV as part of their nine-match tour down under in 2025. 

The historic fixture in Adelaide will precede Test matches with the Wallabies in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. 

A sell-out at the 100,000-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground would smash records for a Lions Test match. 

The series finale will be played in front of more than 80,000 fans in Sydney’s Olympic Park.

Courtney Lawes in contention:

COURTNEY LAWES: “I don’t think it’s any secret, I’d love to be involved in another Lions tour. It’s not the same, you know, the reason I retired from international rugby is because I didn’t want to be away every couple of months, for months on end. Whereas the Lions is two months, I can bring my family out and we can have a good time. Having said that, I’m not expecting it. But if I do get the opportunity I’ll be there.”

Courtney Lawes, Captain of Northampton Saints acknowledges the crowd during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final Match between Northampton Saints and Bath Rugby at Twickenham Stadium on 8 June 2024. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

The 2025 Lions tour fixtures in full

  • Saturday 28 June: v Western Force, Optus Stadium, Perth
  • Wednesday 2 July: v Queensland Reds, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
  • Saturday 5 July: v New South Wales Waratahs, Allianz Stadium, Sydney
  • Wednesday 9 July: v ACT Brumbies, GIO Stadium, Canberra
  • Saturday 12 July: v Invitational Australia & NZ XV, Adelaide Oval
  • Saturday 19 July: First Test, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
  • Tuesday 22 July: v Melbourne Rebels, Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
  • Saturday 26 July: Second Test, Melbourne Cricket Ground
  • Saturday 2 August: Third Test, Accor Stadium, Sydney

The bolded players in our proposed Lions squad represent the starting XV, according to current odds.



  • Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland) – 1/16
  • James Lowe (Ireland) – 1/8
  • Hugo Keenan (Ireland) – 1/5
  • Tommy Freeman (England) – 4/9
  • Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (England) – 8/11
  • Mack Hansen (Ireland) – 2/1


  • Bundee Aki (Ireland) – 1/5
  • Ollie Lawrence (England) – 1/4
  • Sione Tuipulotu (Scotland) – 2/7
  • Robbie Henshaw (Ireland) – 8/11


  • George Ford (England) – 1/10
  • Marcus Smith (England) – 8/15
  • Finn Russell (Scotland) – 8/11