The Springbok selectors on Sunday finalised the squad of 31 players that will travel to Brisbane for the opening match of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, next Saturday at the Suncorp Stadium against the Wallabies.
The touring squad consists of 22 players who did duty against the World XV at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.
The only member of the matchday squad to stay behind in South Africa is Jean de Villiers, who has been released to DHL Western Province to get game time in their Absa Currie Cup warm-up matches in the next fortnight. (See more on that HERE!)
The players who did not feature against the World XV, but will travel to Brisbane, are Lionel Mapoe, Lwazi Mvovo, Rudy Paige, Jan Serfontein, Morné Steyn, Schalk Brits, Lood de Jager, Frans Malherbe and Heinke van der Merwe.
“I would like to give as many of our squad members as possible game time in the build-up to the Rugby World Cup, so there will be changes against the Wallabies,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
“We’ll re-assess the minor bumps and bruises when we get to Brisbane on Monday evening (Australian time). It’s a short week, so the guys will have to find their rhythm quickly before we play what promises to be a very tough and intense Test match against Australia.”
Injured players Duane Vermeulen, Willem Alberts, Frans Steyn, Fourie du Preez, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Steven Kitshoff, were not considered for the week-long tour and will continue with their individualised rehabilitation programmes.
The rest of the current Springbok squad who are not on the airplane to Brisbane, will move to Pretoria where they will continue their rehabilitation and conditioning work.
The Springbok squad that will travel to Brisbane is as follows:
Forwards: Schalk Brits, Schalk Burger, Marcell Coetzee, Lood de Jager, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Vincent Koch, Francois Louw, Frans Malherbe, Victor Matfield, Teboho ‘Oupa’ Mohoje, Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Adriaan Strauss, Heinke van der Merwe, Warren Whiteley.
Backs: Damian De Allende, Bryan Habana, Jesse Kriel, Patrick Lambie, Willie le Roux, Lionel Mapoe, Lwazi Mvovo, Rudy Paige, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Handré Pollard, Cobus Reinach, Jan Serfontein, Morné Steyn.