Cape Town - New Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has confirmed that experienced scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar made himself unavailable for the Ireland series.
When Coetzee revealed his 31-man squad to tackle the Irish in three Tests starting at Newlands on June 11, Pienaar's name was missing from the three No 9s named.
Subsequently it was confirmed that the 88-Test veteran, now ironically plying his trade at Ulster in Ireland, had made himself unavailable for selection.
Pienaar, 32, moved to the Emerald Isle in 2010 and has been a star performer and permanent fixture in the Ulster line-up ever since.
However, he's enjoyed something of a love-hate relationship with Springbok supporters, despite being the seventh-most capped Springbok in history.
Whether Pienaar returns to the national fray for the Rugby Championship in August will largely depend on how Rudy Paige (Bulls), Faf de Klerk (Lions) and Nic Groom (Stormers) perform in the upcoming Ireland Tests.
De Klerk and Groom will be on debut should they get the nod for the match-day 23, while Paige has played two Tests for the Green and Gold.
The Springboks and Ireland will do battle in Cape Town on June 11, followed by clashes at Ellis Park and Port Elizabeth on the following two weekends.
South Africa squad to face Ireland:
Lood de Jager, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Steven Kitshoff, Siya Kolisi, Jaco Kriel, Francois Louw, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Tendai Mtawarira, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Scarra Ntubeni, Trevor Nyakane, Julian Redelinghuys, Adriaan Strauss, Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley
Garth April, Ruan Combrinck, Damian de Allende, Faf de Klerk, Nic Groom, Elton Jantjies, Jesse Kriel, Patrick Lambie, Willie le Roux, Lionel Mapoe, Lwazi Mvovo, Rudy Paige, JP Pietersen, Jan Serfontein