The Springbok squad for the Tour to Wales, Scotland and France has been announced and it includes Bakkies Botha, Scarra Ntubeni and Louis Schreuder. They assemble in Johannesburg on Thursday and will depart for Europe on Saturday.
Springbok squad for the end of year tour:
Zane Kirchner Fullback 28 caps 25 points 29 years
Gio Aplon Fullback/Wing 17 caps 25 points 31 years
Willie le Roux Fullback/Wing 9 caps 15 points 24 years
JP Pietersen Wing 48 caps 70points 27 years
Bryan Habana Wing 92 caps 265 points 30 years
JJ Engelbrecht Centre/Wing 10 caps 20 points 24 years
Jaque Fourie Centre 69 caps 160 points 32 years
Jean de Villiers (captain) Centre 93 caps 120 points 32 years
Jan Serfontein Centre 9 caps 5 points 20 years
Morné Steyn Flyhalf 51 caps 618 points 29 years
Johan Goosen Flyhalf 4 caps 8 points 21 years
Pat Lambie Flyhalf/Fullback 29 caps 55 points 23 years
Fourie du Preez Scrumhalf 65 caps 70 points 31 years
Ruan Pienaar Scrumhalf 71 caps 130 points 29 years
Louis Schreuder Scrumhalf 0 caps 0 points 23 years
Duane Vermeulen No 8 13 caps 5 points 27 years
Siya Kolisi Loose forward 8 caps 0 points 22 years
Francois Louw Loose forward 25 caps 25 points 28 years
Willem Alberts Loose forward 27 caps 30 points 28 years
Marcell Coetzee Loose forward 14 caps 5 points 22 years
Pieter-Steph du Toit Lock 0 caps 0 points 21 years
Eben Etzebeth Lock 20 caps 0 points 22 years
Flip van der Merwe Lock 31 caps 5 points 28 years
Bakkies Botha Lock 76 caps 35 points 34 years
Jannie du Plessis Prop 51 caps 5 points 30 years
Frans Malherbe Prop 0 caps 0 points 22 years
Coenie Oosthuizen Prop 11 caps 5 points 24 years
Gurthrö Steenkamp Prop 46 caps 30 points 32 years
Tendai Mtawarira Prop 50 caps 10 points 28 years
Bismarck du Plessis Hooker 54 caps 40 points 29 years
Adriaan Strauss Hooker 30 caps 25 points 27 years
Scarra Ntubeni Hooker 0 caps 0 points 22 years
Scarra’s inclusion, like that of Gio, is also just-reward for continuous great form,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
“He’s still young and will learn a lot from our two front-line hookers, who both rate amongst the best in the world, on this tour. I want to expose him to this environment and the Springbok ethos and I’m very excited to work with him.
“It will be great to have Bakkies, Jaque and JP in the squad – all of them are really excited to play for the Springboks again, they have heaps of experience and are world-class players.
“Pieter-Steph missed a large part of the season because of injury but has been exceptional since his return to the playing field last month, while we’ve always rated Frans very highly and look forward to working with him again.
“And Louis has always been on our radar – he is only 23, fits in with the way we want to play and was impressive when he worked with us in June. Since then he’s established himself as first-choice at DHL Western Province, starting in nine of their 12 Absa Currie Cup matches, and I believe he will learn a lot on this tour, improving even more.”
Meyer said the Springboks would like to build on their performances during the Castle Lager Rugby Championship in the Tests against Wales (9 November in Cardiff), Scotland (17 November in Edinburgh) and France (23 November in Paris).
“We’ll play in conditions we’ve not yet encountered this year, but we want to keep our positive mind-set on the field and hopefully keep on scoring tries,” said Meyer. “We’re up for the challenge. I know the players are keen to finish 2013 off on a high.
“The Welsh have won the Six Nations the last two seasons. It’s our first Test against them since the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and they will be fired up at the Millennium Stadium.
“This year Scotland finished third in the Six Nations and in our two Tests against them in the last two seasons, they have been a tough nut to crack. We’re not expecting anything different at Murrayfield this year.
“We finish off against France at the Stade de France, where the Springboks lifted the Webb Ellis Cup in 2007. But we’ve not beaten Les Bleus in France since 1997 and will have to be sharp and focused for this last Test of a challenging season.”
Injuries to Arno Botha, Pierre Spies, Francois Hougaard and Jaco Taute meant they were not considered for selection.