Four Bulls, three Sharks and a Griffons player have been invited to the Springboks’ training camp in Stellenbosch.
Lwazi Mvovo, Cobus Reinach, Lourens Adriaanse (all Sharks), Handré Pollard, Rudy Paige, Marcel van der Merwe, Bongi Mbonambi (all Bulls) and Griffons scrumhalf Boela Abrahams, who starred in their Currie Cup First Division final victory on Friday, will join 20 nationally contracted players and four others as the team start their preparations for their end-of-year tour.
Players from the two teams who will contest the Currie Cup final this weekend, Western Province and the Golden Lions, who do not have national contracts were not considered for the camp.
'We’re still contemplating certain positions and this is an ideal opportunity to see what these guys can do,' said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
'Our situation at scrumhalf is not ideal – Fourie du Preez is out for the rest of the season and we’re awaiting more information on Ruan Pienaar’s injury, while Cobus Reinach missed the Currie Cup semi-finals because of injury. We’ve decided to cast the net wide and invite Rudy and Boela, also to introduce them to the Springbok culture and ethos as two promising youngsters.
'Most of the players have been part of our set-up before, but for others this will be their first involvement with the Springboks. While I’m sure they will want to use this opportunity to impress, we’d also like to get to know them better and see what they are capable of before finalising the squad.'
The final touring squad will be announced on Monday, 27 October before the players gather for a pre-departure camp in Johannesburg on the Wednesday.
Players invited to Stellenbosch training camp: Boela Abrahams (scrumhalf), Lourens Adriaanse (prop), Willem Alberts (loose forward), Marcell Coetzee (loose forward), Damian de Allende (centre/wing), Lood de Jager (lock), Jean de Villiers (centre), Bismarck du Plessis (hooker), Jannie du Plessis (prop), JJ Engelbrecht (centre/wing), Eben Etzebeth (lock), Lizo Gqoboka (prop), Cornal Hendricks (wing), Francois Hougaard (scrumhalf), Siya Kolisi (loose forward), Pat Lambie (flyhalf/fullback), Willie le Roux (fullback/wing), Victor Matfield (lock), Bongi Mbonambi (hooker), Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje (loose forward), Tendai Mtawarira (prop), Lwazi Mvovo (wing), Trevor Nyakane (prop), Coenie Oosthuizen (prop), Rudy Paige (scrumhalf), Handré Pollard (flyhalf), Cobus Reinach (scrumhalf), Jan Serfontein (centre), Adriaan Strauss (hooker), Flip van der Merwe (lock), Marcel van der Merwe (prop), Duane Vermeulen (No 8).
Photo: Anne Laing/HSM Images