Boks call up Burger

Schalk Burger has replaced injured Francois Louw in the Springbok squad for their last two matches of the Rugby Championship.

The 71-Test flanker will play for his Japanese club, Suntory, on Friday and then join the squad in Cape Town as soon as possible.

It will be Burger’s second involvement with the Boks this year after he made a successful return to the national side in June following two years out of the game with injury and serious illness.

Burger featured in all four of the Boks’ matches in June, starting in the final Test against Scotland, but because of his club commitments in Japan he was not available for the first four rounds of the Rugby Championship.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer confirmed Siya Kolisi was also an option to replace the injured Louw, but the Western Province loose forward was injured over the weekend ruling him out for approximately a month.

'I feel for Siya as he’s been hitting great form again, but it’s also good to be able to bring Schalk back into the squad,' said Meyer. 'With Willem Alberts still out injured, Schalk’s versatility helps as he can cover any position in the loose trio. He is also very experienced, brings leadership qualities and has been with us so he will slot back in easily.

'Schalk played a superb role in June mentoring the younger players in the squad, and he’ll be able to carry on with that especially with players such as Warren Whiteley and Oupa Mohoje, who has shown massive improvement after only playing in a handful of Super Rugby matches and making his Test debut earlier this season.'

Meyer added that Mohoje has come through exceptionally well in his breakthrough season and can fill the void left by Louw and Alberts.

'Oupa is a strong ball-carrier, very fast and hard-working on defence, but he is also a superb option at the back of the lineout.'

The Springbok squad will gather in Cape Town on Sunday evening and start their preparations on Monday.

Photo: Barry Aldworth/BackpagePix

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Simon Borchardt