Saracens flanker Justin Melck has been called-up by Germany in their bid for a place at next year's Rugby World Cup in England.
Saracens' South African-born flanker Justin Melck has been called-up by international rugby minnows Germany in their bid for a place at next year's Rugby World Cup in England.
Cape Town-born Melck, 31, who has a German passport and whose mother is German, has been called into the Germany squad for their international away to Sweden on April 26.
Having made 77 appearances for Saracens since making his debut against London Wasps in 2009, Melck is one of only a handful of professional players in the Germany squad and he can play in all three back-row positions.
Victory in Stockholm would secure Germany's promotion to the European Nations Cup 1A, the top European tier under the Six Nations which includes Georgia, Romania and Russia, as winners of the 1B division.
The Germans can still qualify for next year's Rugby World Cup via a repechage place, should they finish top of their group, but they need to beat the Netherlands, then Russia in May to progress to the final play-off.
“I'm slowly coming to the end of a fantastic career in professional rugby and it's nice to give something back to country to which my family and I are very close to,” said Melck.
“I don't know a lot about German rugby, but the national team is having a very successful World Cup qualifying so far.”
Having played for South Africa U21 and the Stormers in the then Super 14 competition, Melck captained Western Province during their 2007 Currie Cup campaign and had a loan spell with two-time European Cup champions Munster.
“Justin is a player with a lot of experience,” said Germany's South African coach Kobus Potgieter.
“From him, we can all only benefit and I'm very excited to see how he fits into our game plan.”