Springboks opt for continuity

2013-08-03 12:33
Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Springbok selectors have opted for continuity when they named a 30-man squad for the opening two rounds of The Rugby Championship later this month against Argentina.

Only three players who were not part of the Springbok squad which won the Incoming Series in June have been added to the squad.

They are experienced scrumhalf Fourie du Preez, who has been selected for the Springboks for the first time since the Rugby World Cup in 2011, Gurthrö Steenkamp (prop) and Duane Vermeulen (No. 8), who last played for the Springboks in November 2012.

Du Preez’s club in Japan, Suntory Sungoliath, released him for international duty for parts of The Rugby Championship.

He is available for the three Tests in South Africa and has been included in the squad.

When Du Preez can’t travel with the Springboks, his place in the squad will be taken by Piet van Zyl.

"We’re very thankful to everyone at SARU and Suntory who made it possible to select Fourie," said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

"Fourie has been out of international rugby for a while and it makes sense to involve him as soon as possible.

"Piet was part of the squad in June and we know what he can do – he will slot in without any problems when necessary."

Vermeulen, who has shaken off a knee injury which kept him out of the June Tests, and the experienced Steenkamp both return to the squad after playing a vital role in the Springboks’ unbeaten tour to Ireland, Scotland and England last year.

"It’s great to have Duane back after he played such an important role for us at the end of last season," said Meyer.

"It will also be good to see Gurthrö back in the mix. Along with Fourie, they boast 102 Tests worth of experience between the two of them, have been part of very successful teams before and will be able to share a lot of knowledge with the younger players around them.

"We’ve managed to keep a lot of continuity between this squad of 30 players and the squad that did duty during the Incoming Series.

"As I’ve said before, it’s vitally important for the younger players in the set-up to get more experienced and increase their Test caps, but this will be a very tough Championship and we will have to be at our very best.

"Argentina showed last year what they can do and while we are mindful of the threat they pose, our focus will be on building on the good things we achieved in June and improving in areas where we were not satisfied."

The Springboks will open their Rugby Championship campaign against Argentina at the FNB Stadium in Soweto as part of the Nelson Mandela Sport & Culture Day celebrations on 17 August.

The following day they fly to South America where they will face Los Pumas in Mendoza on 24 August.

The two Australasian Tests of the competition take place on 7 September in Brisbane (against Australia) and on 14 September in Auckland (against New Zealand).

The final two home Tests are scheduled for 28 September in Cape Town (against Australia) and 5 October in Johannesburg (against New Zealand).

Only locally-based players and Ruan Pienaar, who is currently on extended leave in South Africa and was granted permission to take part in the camp by his province in Ireland, will take part in the team’s preparations next week in Johannesburg. The full squad will get together for training from Monday, 12 August.

Injured players who have been part of the squad in the last two seasons, but were not considered, are Frans Malherbe, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Arno Botha, Pierre Spies, Francois Hougaard, Johan Goosen, Jaco Taute and Frans Steyn.

The 30-man Springboks squad for the first two legs of the Rugby Championships:

Backs: Bjorn Basson, JJ Engelbrecht, Bryan Habana, Juan de Jongh, Zane Kirchner, Patrick Lambie, Ruan Pienaar, Fourie du Preez, Willie le Roux, Jan Serfontein, Morné Steyn, Jano Vermaak, Jean de Villiers (captain)

Forwards: Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Juandre Kruger, Francois Louw, Flip van der Merwe, Franco van der Merwe, Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Adriaan Strauss, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Duane Vermeulen


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

05 November 2016
Barbarians v South Africa, London 15:00
12 November 2016
England v South Africa, Twickenham 16:30
19 November 2016
Italy v South Africa, Stadio Artemio Franchi 15:00
26 November 2016
Wales v South Africa, Millennium Stadium 19:30

Did Stormers and Springboks lock Pieter-Steph du Toit deserve to be named SA Rugby Player of the Year?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.