Tendai Mtawarira – the Beast – has been named in the 28-man Springbok squad to contest the away leg of the 2010 Vodacom Tri-Nations. Sharks representatives are otherwise pretty thin on the ground.
The vast majority of the team that stuffed Italy this afternoon has been included, with only Bulls lock Flip van der Merwe omitted – presumably on the basis that a single Springbok squad should never contain more than three players from the same team who all play in the same position. Of the players who dropped out last week, a fair few have come back in, including Victor Matfield, Zane Kirchner, CJ van der Linde and Ryan Kankowski, while Danie Rossouw, initially named on the bench for this week’s clash, is also back.
Not so fortunate are Alistair Hargreaves, Bandise Maku and Bjorn Basson; for those three, Currie Cup rugby awaits. Utility back Francois Hougaard joins Beast as the only player from outside the current squad to be named. The squad is predictably dominated by Bulls and Stormers players, with 11 men from Pretoria and 9 from the Cape named in the 28-man squad. The Sharks have a paltry five players in the team, three of them front-rankers and only a single back in Ruan Pienaar.
Here is the squad:
Props: CJ van der Linde, BJ Botha, Beast Mtawarira, Jannie du Plessis, Gurthro Steenkamp
Hookers: John Smit, Chilliboy Ralepelle
Locks: Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, Danie Rossouw, Andries Bekker
Loose forwards: Pierre Spies, Ryan Kankowski, Dewald Potgieter, Francois Louw, Schalk Burger
Scrumhalves: Ricky Januarie, Francois Hougaard
Flyhalves: Morne Steyn, Butch James, Ruan Pienaar
Centres: Jean de Jongh, Jean de Villiers, Wynand Olivier, Jaque Fourie
Wings: Bryan Habana, Gio Aplon
Fullback: Zane Kirchner