Cape Town - World Cup winners Frans Steyn and Jaque Fourie have been recalled to an extended Springbok squad for their first five matches of the year, the South African Rugby Union said on Saturday.
Utility back Steyn and outside centre Fourie, who won the William Webb Ellis trophy in 2007, quit the national side last year but have made an about-turn and are back in the World Cup plans of coach Heyneke Meyer.
They are part of a squad of 49 players named for the fixtures against a World XV on July 11, the Rugby Championship and the one-off Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires in August.
Among that number are 13 players, Steyn and Fourie included, who are currently injured or in rehabilitation, but will link up with the squad when fit.
"Even though Jaque Fourie announced that he had retired from Test rugby late last year, we have had positive talks with him and his club, Kobe in Japan, and an agreement was reached that he will be available for one last season of Test rugby," Meyer said in a statement.
"As soon as he's back to full fitness, we'll consider him for selection.
"The next five matches, before we finalise the squad for the Rugby World Cup, will be very important as we want to ensure the right 31 players are on the plane to England on September 11."
Meyer has also called up eight uncapped players in hooker Scarra Ntubeni, props Steven Kitshoff and Vincent Koch, scrumhalves Rudy Paige and Faf de Klerk, lock Franco Mostert, fullback Jesse Kriel and wing Lionel Mapoe.
"This is testament to the great depth we've managed to build in most positions over the last few years," Meyer said.
The World Cup will be held in England and Wales from September 18 to October 31. The Boks are in Pool B along with Japan, Samoa, Scotland and United States.
Springbok squad (in alphabetical order):
Willem Alberts (Sharks), Loose forward, 32 Test caps
Schalk Brits (Saracens, England), Hooker, 7
Schalk Burger (Stormers / Suntory, Japan), Loose forward, 75
Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), Loose forward, 26
Damian De Allende (Stormers), Centre, 3
Faf de Klerk (Lions/Pumas), Scrumhalf, 0
Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), Hooker, 70
Jannie du Plessis (Sharks), Prop, 62
Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), Lock, 33
Elton Jantjies (Lions), Flyhalf, 2
Bryan Habana (Toulon, France), Wing, 106
Cornal Hendricks (Cheetahs), Wing, 11
Zane Kirchner (Leinster, Ireland), Wing / Fullback, 29
Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), Prop, 0
Vincent Koch (Stormers/Steval Pumas), Prop, 0
Siya Kolisi (Stormers), Loose forward, 10
Jesse Kriel (Bulls), Fullback, 0
Willie le Roux (Cheetahs), Fullback / Wing, 25
Francois Louw (Bath, England), Loose forward, 34
Frans Malherbe (Stormers), Prop, 4
Victor Matfield (Bulls), Lock, 121
Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje (Cheetahs), Loose forward, 7
Franco Mostert (Lions), Lock, 0
Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Prop, 64
Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), Wing, 10
Scarra Ntubeni (Stormers), Hooker, 0
Trevor Nyakane (Bulls), Prop, 13
Rudy Paige (Bulls), Scrumhalf, 0
Ruan Pienaar (Ulster, N Ireland), Scrumhalf, 80
JP Pietersen (Sharks), Centre / Wing, 59
Handré Pollard (Bulls), Flyhalf, 9
Morné Steyn (Stade Francais, France), Flyhalf, 59
Adriaan Strauss (Bulls), Hooker, 44
Heinke van der Merwe (Stade Francais, France), Prop, 4
Marcel van der Merwe (Bulls), Prop, 4
Warren Whiteley (Lions), Loose forward, 2
Injured / Conditioning squad:
Heinrich Brussow (Cheetahs/Docomo, Japan), Loose forward, 20
Lood de Jager (Cheetahs), Lock, 9
Jean de Villiers (Stormers), Centre, 106
Fourie du Preez (Suntory, Japan), Scrumhalf, 70
Pieter-Steph du Toit (Sharks), Lock, 2
Jaque Fourie (Kobe, Japan), Centre, 72
Patrick Lambie (Sharks), Flyhalf / Fullback, 40
Lionel Mapoe (Lions), Centre, 0
Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs), Prop, 21
Cobus Reinach (Sharks), Scrumhalf, 6
Jan Serfontein (Bulls), Centre, 20
Frans Steyn (Sharks), Centre, 53
Duane Vermeulen (Stormers), No 8, 29