Nine uncapped players in Bok squad

Date published: June 1 2013

The Springboks have named nine uncapped players in their squad for the June Test series against Samoa, Italy and Scotland.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has named nine uncapped players in his 34-man squad for the June Test series against Samoa, Italy and Scotland.

Six of the new faces have not been part of the national set-up before.

The six newcomers are the Griquas duo Lourens Adriaanse and Willie le Roux, Trevor Nyakane and Pieter “Lappies” Labuschagne of the Free State Cheetahs, and two members of last year's Junior World Championship-winning SA Under-20 squad, Jan Serfontein ( Blue Bulls) and Pieter-Steph du Toit (The Sharks)).

The three other uncapped players in the squad are Siya Kolisi (Western Province), Arno Botha and Jano Vermaak (both Blue Bulls). Two players who only featured in one Test in 2012, Gio Aplon (Western Province) and JJ Engelbrecht ( Blue Bulls), are recalled following very good performances this year.

Western Province midfielder Jean de Villiers, the most experienced member of the squad with 84 Test caps retains the captaincy.

Players who were part of Springbok squads in 2012, but were not considered for selection due to injury, are JP Pietersen, Jaco Taute, Frans Steyn, Johan Goosen, Duane Vermeulen, Pat Cilliers and Frans Malherbe.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said the inclusion of the six newcomers was just reward for good performances in Super Rugby this season. He also said he was happy to keep the core of the squad that did duty for South Africa in 2012.

“The Tests in June will be tough and we've been hit by a number of injuries, but I'm very happy with the squad we've selected,” said Meyer.

“It's never easy selecting a squad such as this one, as there are always players who are unlucky to miss out, but there will always be an opportunity to reclaim your place, as Gio and JJ had shown this season.

“Despite not playing for one of the five big unions, Lourens and Willie have grabbed their opportunities when they got a chance to play Super Rugby, while two of their team-mates at the Cheetahs, Trevor and Lappies, have also done very well this year.

“It was also good to see Jan and Pieter-Steph make the step up from the junior levels. I've always rated them and they've shone this year for the Bulls and the Sharks.

“To have 34 players available for this series will help a lot and I have a lot of appreciation to the leadership of SARU and the provincial CEOs for allowing us this number.”

The Springbok squad will assemble in Durban on Sunday. The first Test of the series is next Saturday at Kings Park against Italy.

South Africa squad:

Props: Lourens Adriaanse (Griquas), Jannie du Plessis (The Sharks), Tendai Mtawarira (The Sharks),Trevor Nyakane (Cheetahs),Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs)

Hookers: Bismarck du Plessis (The Sharks), Chiliboy Ralepelle (Blue Bulls), Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs)

Locks: Pieter-Steph du Toit (The Sharks), Eben Etzebeth (Western Province), Juandré Kruger (Blue Bulls), Flip van der Merwe (Blue Bulls)

Loose forwards: Willem Alberts (The Sharks), Arno Botha (Blue Bulls), Marcell Coetzee (The Sharks), Siya Kolisi (Western Province), Pieter Labuschagne (Cheetahs), Francois Louw (Bath), Pierre Spies (Blue Bulls)

Scrum-halves: Ruan Pienaar (Ulster), Francois Hougaard (Blue Bulls), Jano Vermaak (Blue Bulls)

Fly-halves: Pat Lambie (The Sharks), Morné Steyn (Blue Bulls)

Centres: Juan de Jongh (Western Province), Jean de Villiers (captain) (Western Province), JJ Engelbrecht (Blue Bulls), Jan Serfontein (Blue Bulls)

Outside backs: Gio Aplon (Western Province), Bjorn Basson (Blue Bulls), Bryan Habana (Western Province), Zane Kirchner (Blue Bulls), Willie le Roux (Griquas), Lwazi Mvovo (The Sharks).