Ntubeni gets Bok call-up
- 28 Oct 2013
Four new caps and three returning senior Springboks have been included in the 32-man squad to tour Wales, Scotland and France in November.
WP trio Scarra Ntubeni (hooker), Frans Malherbe (prop) and Louis Schreuder (scrumhalf) and Sharks lock Pieter-Steph du Toit are the new faces in the squad. Schreuder, who had a poor Currie Cup final, has surprisingly been included ahead of Castres' Rory Kockott, who has been in outstanding form for the French champions this season.
Three stalwarts of the 2007 World Cup-winning squad, winger JP Pietersen (Panasonic Wild Knights), centre Jaque Fourie (Kobelco Steelers) and lock Bakkies Botha (Toulon), have also been named in the squad. It will be Botha and Fourie’s first involvement with the Springboks since the 2011 World Cup, while Pietersen is back in the squad for the first time this year. The other Japanese-based player in the squad is scrumhalf Fourie du Preez (Suntory Sungoliath).
There are 10 overseas-based players in the squad.
WP fullback/wing Gio Aplon, who was part of the squad in June, and Cheetahs flyhalf Johan Goosen, who recently returned after seven months out injured, were recalled to the team.
Second-rower Juandré Kruger has been dropped, while there is no place for WP flank Schalk Burger or Sharks centre Frans Steyn, who both returned to action at the tail-end of the Currie Cup after injury-enforced lay-offs.
'Scarra’s inclusion, like that of Gio, is just reward for continuous great form,' said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer. 'He’s young and will learn a lot from our two frontline hookers, who both rate among 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 has established himself as first-choice at Western Province, starting in nine of their 12 Currie Cup matches, and I believe he will learn a lot on this tour, improving even more.'
Backs – Gio Aplon, Jean de Villiers (c), Fourie du Preez, JJ Engelbrecht, Jaque Fourie, Johan Goosen, Bryan Habana, Zane Kirchner, Pat Lambie, Willie le Roux, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Jan Serfontein, Louis Schreuder, Morné Steyn.
Forwards – Willem Alberts, Bakkies Botha, Marcell Coetzee, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Francois Louw, Frans Malherbe, Tendai Mtawarira, Scarra Ntubeni, Coenie Oosthuizen, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Adriaan Strauss, Flip van der Merwe, Duane Vermeulen.
Photo: Luke Walker/Gallo Images
Sharks playing intelligent rugby
The Sharks have been outstanding in the first month of Vodacom Super Rugby, writes MARK KEOHANE.
Expansion into mega mediocrity
Increasingly the decision to expand Vodacom Super Rugby in 2016 is looking like a decision to grow an enormous mediocre monster, writes RYAN VREDE.
Goosen’s free to fly
Johan Goosen will continue to play the game his way, writes JON CARDINELLI.