Brian Habana ruled out of tour as South Africa name five new faces
SOUTH Africa have named five uncapped players in their squad for the upcoming tour of Great Britain and Ireland, although star winger Bryan Habana misses out through injury.
The 29-year-old hurt his knee playing for Western Province in Saturday’s Currie Cup final victory over the Sharks, with scans revealing he will not be fit in time for the three-Test tour, which begins in Ireland on 10 November.
Habana’s is the latest in a series of injuries to hit Heyneke Meyer’s squad, with the likes of Bismarck du Plessis, Pierre Spies, Frans Steyn, Schalk Burger and Juan Smith among those sidelined.
The list of absentees has, however, opened the door for five new faces – wingers Raymond Rhule and Lionel Mapoe, loose forward Arno Botha, lock Franco van der Merwe and scrum-half Jano Vermaak.
Full-back JP Pietersen and hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle have also returned to the squad following injury, while Meyer has also selected four Europe-based players with hooker Schalk Brits (Saracens), flanker Francois Louw (Bath), scrum-half Ruan Pienaar (Ulster), and prop Gurthro Steenkamp (Toulouse) all included. The coach explained that the inclusion of Brits, who played the last of his three Tests in 2008, and Steenkamp would add some much needed experience. “Gurthro and Schalk are experienced front rankers who have played for South Africa before and know the conditions in the Northern Hemisphere. This tour provides a good opportunity to assess them as we plan ahead,” said the coach.
After the match with Ireland, the Springboks take on Scotland at Murrayfield on 17 November before meeting England a week later.
Meyer said of the tour: “Although the Springboks won on their last visit to Dublin [in 2010], they lost three in a row before that.
“In 2010, we lost to Scotland in Edinburgh. They beat the Wallabies in Australia earlier in the year, so it won’t be easy there. And in June we’ve experienced first-hand how difficult an opponent England are. They will be fired up at Twickenham and it will be a challenging Test to end the tour with.
“Our aim is to end the season on a positive note. The Rugby World Cup in 2015 also takes place in England, so we will use this tour to see how our players adapt to the conditions as we look ahead to that very important tournament.”
The squad gather in Cape Town in midweek before flying out on Saturday.
South Africa squad: W Alberts, A Botha, S Brits, P Cilliers, M Coetzee, J De Jongh, J De Villiers (captain), J Du Plessis, E Etzebeth, F Hougaard, E Jantjies, Z Kirchner, J Kruger, P Lambie, F Louw, L Mapoe, T Mtawarira, L Mvovo, R Pienaar, JP Pietersen, C Ralepelle, R Rhule, G Steenkamp, M Steyn, A Strauss, J Taute, CJ Van der Linde, Flip van der Merwe, Franco van der Merwe, J Vermaak, D Vermeulen.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: South