Springbok coach Peter de Villiers on Friday named a 24-man squad featuring several players returning from injury rehabilitation for the home leg of the Castle Tri-Nations series. Six players remain on the injured list and unavailable for selection, although three of them will join the squad in Durban to continue their rehabilitation.
The Springboks play Australia at Mr Price Kings Park on August 13 before meeting New Zealand at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth a week later.
Nine of the players who appeared in the away leg of the Series have been retained, led by captain John Smit.
“We still have a number of injury concerns but the majority of the players who were in rehabilitation have recovered well and are now available for selection,” said De Villiers.
Schalk Burger (hand), Juan Smith (Achilles) and Willem Alberts (shoulder) will be part of the squad but are not fit enough to be in contention for the match against Australia, said De Villiers. A fourth looseforward – Heinrich Brüssow – would be assessed with a view to joining the squad, following his planned appearance for the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in the Absa Currie Cup on Saturday.
Lock forward Johann Muller remains on the injured list and with Andries Bekker ruled out of the Rugby World Cup tournament, Test newcomer Gerhard Mostert is named in the squad. The 26-year-old made his Test debut against New Zealand a fortnight ago.
“It’s very satisfying to see that Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha have now largely overcome their injuries but they still require management as we have a shortage of fit locks at the moment,” said de Villiers.
“We also have injury problems among the looseforwards but I am hopeful that all of the four who are not currently in the playing squad will be ready for selection by the time of the World Cup.”
The squad will assemble in Durban on Sunday. A media schedule follows shortly.
Springbok Squad for Tests versus Australia (August 13) and New Zealand (August 20)
|Gio Aplon||DHL Western Province||14|
|Frans Steyn||Racing Metro, France||42|
|JP Pietersen||The Sharks||36|
|Bryan Habana||DHL Western Province||68|
|Jaque Fourie||DHL Western Province||62|
|Juan de Jongh||DHL Western Province||8|
|Jean de Villiers||DHL Western Province||67|
|Morne Steyn||Vodacom Blue Bulls||27|
|Butch James||MTN Golden Lions||40|
|Ruan Pienaar||Ulster, N Ireland||49|
|Fourie du Preez||Vodacom Blue Bulls||55|
|Francois Hougaard||Vodacom Blue Bulls||8|
|Pierre Spies||Vodacom Blue Bulls||40|
|Jean Deysel||The Sharks||3|
|Danie Rossouw||Vodacom Blue Bulls||56|
|Bakkies Botha||Vodacom Blue Bulls||72|
|Victor Matfield||Vodacom Blue Bulls||105|
|Gerhard Mostert||Stade Francais, France||1|
|John Smit (captain)||The Sharks||104|
|Bismarck du Plessis||The Sharks||36|
|Tendai Mtawarira||The Sharks||26|
|Jannie du Plessis||The Sharks||24|
|Gurthrö Steenkamp||Vodacom Blue Bulls||31|
|CJ van der Linde||MTN Golden Lions||71|
Players not considered for selection due to injury were: Schalk Burger (hand), Juan Smith (Achilles), Andries Bekker (ankle), Willem Alberts (shoulder), Johann Muller (hamstring) and Duane Vermeulen (knee).
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